On 7 May 1983, the installation of the Surrounded Islands in Biscayne Bay, Miami was completed.
Eleven of the islands in the bay were surrounded by over 600,000 square metres of floating pink polypropylene fabric, which covered the surface of the water and stretched 61 metres from each island in the bay. The outer edge of the floating fabric was attached to an octagonal rod, in sections, of the same colour as the fabric. Anchors were planted in the ground near the feet of trees in order to fix the inner edge of the fabric, covering the surface of the beach and disappearing under the vegetation.
For two weeks, the public was able to observe the work Surrounded Islands from the elevated streets, from the earth, from the water and from the sky. The bright pink of the glossy fabric was harmonious with the tropical vegetation of the uninhabited verdant islands, the light of the Miami sky and the colours of the shallow waters of Biscayne Bay.
Unlike the exponents of American Land Art (such as Smithson, Heizer, De Maria, Turrell) who work with privileged, remote desert territories that are uncontaminated and difficult to reach, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have always wanted to put their works in easily accessible places, even in the case of interventions in natural spaces. Indeed, their aim was to create spectacular artistic events that could be enjoyed by as many people as possible: works that had to convey “joy and beauty”.