Hello, there. How are you doing? Oh good, I’m glad. And the kids? Superb. Oh, just a quick observation by the way, and I don’t mean to alarm you, but there’s a BLOODY HUGE UMBRELLA DOWN AT MEREWETHER BEACH RIGHT NOW.
So what’s all this umbrella stuff about, you might ask? You may have connected the dots already, but Netflix is celebrating the release of The Umbrella Academy (which you can stream right bloody HERE). The colossal umbrella will call Merewether Beach home from now ’til Sunday, and Netflix is giving away free Umbrella Academy merch and other fun things to celebrate…so run, freebie-lover, RUN!
So how huge is the umbrella exactly? Over 12 metres wide and six metres high; with a handle measuring 14 metres long.
WE’RE TALKING HUGE.
The large-scale installation, commissioned by Netflix, has been realised by James Dive, an Australian artist, designer and all-around legend who’s previously worked on Sydney‘s Sculpture By The Sea.
Umbrella Academy revolving around the reunion of dysfunctional family of superheroes in the face of their father’s death, the danger facing one of their siblings and the threat of an apocalypse, has been adapted from the comic book series of the same name created by Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance God, obviously). The show only debuted on Netflix last Friday and people are absolutely buzzin’.
Oh, did I mention that there’s also a stellar lineup of A-listers, including Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, Robert Sheehan and Mary J. Blige? I’m not crying… YOU ARE.
Okay, back to the installation. If you head down now, you’ll be able to take the perfect Instagrammable flick and nab some Umbrella Academy merchandise giveaways – tote bags, super-themed beach towels and other beach goods. With one weekend left of Summer, it’d probably be wise to stock up.
We also spoke to James Dive to get a bit of insight into his work:
What was the first sculpture you ever made? The first public work I created was ‘Hot With a Chance of a Late Storm,’ or more commonly known simply as the melted ice-cream truck. Since that work, my involvement in creating and collaborating on public interventions has become very much part of my day to day creative practice.
How do you get inspired to create your work? Inspiration for me is a process. For all of my works, I have simply done the hours. Ideas, for me, is a work ethic.
How were you inspired by The Umbrella Academy in particular when building this installation? My practice is very multi-disciplinary. I actively work artistically in the public realm, but I also enjoy heading design commissions that take my interest. This was one of those cases. A large scale umbrella was as much a problem-solving exercise as it was a creative one. The Umbrella Academy has a very specific symbol, which is weaved into the series, so I wanted to be as true to that as possible. But as we all know, umbrellas can be famously flimsy, so it became a complex engineering puzzle to create a normal, yet giant 12-metre wide umbrella.
What’s involved with creating a sculpture of this scale? How many people are working behind the scenes on something like this? Works like this always require a sizeable team. The immediate team behind the project would likely be about 20. Construction, engineering, design, production, permits, sailmakers, freight to name just a few.
Now, enough chatter – check out trailer from The Umbrella Academy below and run on down to Merewether Beach now. What are you doing? Time is of the essence! GAH.