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WinkBalloons | Lifted by 20,000 balloons, Noemi Lakmaier will float inside the Opera House | Sep 2017 | Sydney

Posted on September 24 2017

Noemi Lakmaier is a psychotherapist with a fear of flying. She is also an artist. On Sunday (Sept 3), the British-Viennese performance artist Noemi Lakmaier suspended herself from 20,000 coloured helium balloons.

She floated for 9 hours in the largest venue in the Sydney Opera House, the Concert Hall.

Lakmaier calls the installation Cherophobia, which means an irrational fear of happiness.

"I was really fascinated by it because it seems so contradictory," she says. "There's something very sad about being afraid of being happy.”

The concept originated from her own experience with disability.

"We're all supposed to want to be happy, aren't we?" said the wheelchair-bound artist.

"Being frightened of what we want seems to push and pull, and leave us in a constant Catch-22, which sounds so uncomfortable, but in so many ways resonates with the fight between my body and the balloons," she added.

The installation was aimed to let everyone in the audience, share in a sense of suspense and anticipation, as they waited to see if and how she would float with the balloons.

"It's about the process, the anticipation, the wonder and unknowingness of if anything will happen," Lakmaier was quoted by ABC News as saying.

WinkBalloons thought we were tied up with balloons before reading about Naomi Lakmaier at the Sydney Opera House.

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