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Wrapped Coast: 1968-1969

Team on cliffs and shore wrap rock outcrop

Team on cliffs and shore wrap rock outcrop for Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia, 1968–69, 1969, gelatin silver print, Shunk-Kender Photography Collection, Department of Image Collections, National Gallery of Art Library, Gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation in memory of Harry Shunk and János Kender. © Christo. Photograph: Shunk-Kender © J. Paul Getty Trust. All Rights Reserved

Shunk-Kender documented all phases of Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia, 1968–69, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s monumental work of art created for the coast and cliffs of Little Bay near Sydney, Australia.

The artists, working with project coordinator John Kaldor (Wrapped Coast was the first in a series by Kaldor Public Art Projects) and Major Ninian Melville (retired Army Corps of Engineers), assembled and directed a team of 15 professional  rock climbers and 110 local art and architecture student workers, as well as Australian artists and teachers. Over a period of four weeks, they wrapped about one and a half miles of coast and cliffs up to 85 feet high with 1,000,000 square feet of light beige erosion-control fabric and 35 miles of rope. The project suffered a temporary setback when, three-quarters of the way through, a storm severely damaged sections of fabric on the wrapped coastline, requiring them to be redraped. The artists and their team completed Wrapped Coast on October 28, 1969, and the work remained on view for 10 weeks.