Telling the Wrapped Coast Story

by Wendy Bacon

Wendy Bacon has been an urban activist and journalist since 1969. She is a non practising lawyer & was previously the Professor of Journalism at the University of Technology Sydney. 

A massive groundbreaking work that engaged huge audiences both in Sydney and internationally. An art process that took effect not in a studio or gallery but outside on the land, and then disappeared. Decades later, this is how art historians and critics have described Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Wrapped Coast.

Rebecca Coates, Director of the Shepparton Art Museum, argues in The rise of the private art foundation: John Kaldor Art Projects 1969-2012 that Wrapped Coast was a key cultural moment. The significance of the awe-inspiring work that briefly covered the Little Bay coastline lies partly in its relationship to the public. In this sense, the realisation and aftermath of the project can be seen as part of the work itself.

The journalism around Wrapped Coast is evidence of some of the public response to the work. It’s also a glimpse into the specific time and place in which it was produced.

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