Sean Rooney is an artist who uses balloons in a delightfully original way.
A trailblazing innovator, he has developed techniques to make magic, music, fashion, sculpture, puppets, and sound effects using balloons as his sole visible (and acoustic) prop.
He has been performing and sculpting for over twenty years, in thirty countries, in venues big and small. His performances are fun, funny, and tuned to each particular audience, and his sculptures have been featured in major museums and festivals.
Career highlights include:
Opening WuQiao- China’s largest circus festival
Two “Just for Laughs” gala performances, Montreal
Outdoor performance in Azadi Square, Tehran
Installations at Toronto’s The Royal Ontario Museum, The Art Gallery of Ontario, and The Ontario Science Centre
The worlds’ first “Balloon Fashion” show, Utrecht, Netherlands (with Hester Oerlmans)
Performing as a guest of the Canadian embassy in Singapore
Celine Dions’ family Christmas party in Montreal.
Work with Cirque de Soleil on an ill-fated television show, “Bizart”
Extended contract at “The Venetian” in Macau – Sean graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in cultural anthropology, and his work reflects a deepening understanding and appreciation for culture(s).
He speaks French, English, German-ish, Portuguese-esque and dabbles linguistically wherever his travels take him. He learns important phrases from his show in the native language of his audience; for instance, he can say “The caterpillar becomes a butterfly” in eleven languages.”
As one of the pioneers of large-scale pure balloon sculpture (ie. no framing), I’ve spent thousands of hours designing and building big balloon-based art. Highlights include being the first balloon sculptor to have a piece commisioned for a major gallery (1999 the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto), building a six metre pyramid in Sarajevo, creating (with Dutch artist Hester Oerlmans) the world’s first balloon fashion show (In Utrecht, Holland), crafting a geodesic balloon dome which morphed into a giant, three-eyed, crowd surfing fish for the band Phish, and mounting a giant clown-face facade for the Drake Hotel’s Nuit Blanche extravaganza.
Balloon installations: Inspiration and perspiration, literally bursting with creativity. I push the limits of speed and precision, and endurance. If the installation is accessible, crowds of curious onlookers will gather while I work.
I create original works, and custom pieces based on other peoples designs- for example logos or mascots.
On a balloon-powered adventure around the world, Sean is a performer equally comfortable in a wide variety of environments. Adapting his show to suit the environment and the people around him stylistically, conceptually, and linguistically, he really is an entertainer for “Children of all ages.” Running the gamut from sophisticated to slapstick, from intriguing manipulations to mind-blowing effects, his presentations delight and amaze in equal measure. And the show is original- Sean is an innovator in his field,-the tricks are his personal inventions, and he delivers wonderful demonstrations of a creative mind at work and play!!!!
To see some videos, check out these links:
From Phish Festival in Watkins Glen:
A reel of performance, and art projects:
A music video made with Peaches:
From a play with Peaches:
A show at the Ontario Science Centre: