BLKBRD Collective has been selected for the 2020 New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission
This October, the second 12-month iteration of the three-year long New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission project will be unveiled to the public, featuring a powerful new outdoor mural by south-east London based BLKBRD Collective.
Initiated and funded by VINCI St. Modwen (VSM) in association with Covent Garden Market Authority, and realised in collaboration with Art Night – the registered charity and art commissioning platform behind London’s annual all-night contemporary art festival – this new artwork, titled ‘BLOOM!’, will shine a light on the valued market workers across the fruit, vegetable and floral industries that keep London running. ‘BLOOM!’ will be presented on the building façade of The Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market, offering passers-by and market visitors an accessible insight into the trade and custom of the market workers – traditionally not visible to the public due to their night-time working hours.
Building on their work from the Stay Strong Route project – through which BLKBRD Collective sought to publicly celebrate essential workers during the 2020 pandemic – this new mural will emphasise the importance of this trade; highlighting marginalised professions that have been undervalued in the past, and their roles in shaping sustainable and self-sufficient communities and lifestyles. Spotlighting the importance of fresh produce markets, and the traders and distributors that positively impact the health of their local communities, BLKBRD Collective has deployed a similar style of characterisation and illustration as seen in the Stay Strong Route series to elevate these workers in and around New Covent Garden Market.
BLKBRD Collective creates public murals that raise support for marginalised workers and communities in the UK. Their murals aim to raise morale during difficult times and ask important questions about the state of overlooked communities and areas. Their most recent work celebrated key workers on the frontline of COVID-19, communicating the effects of the pandemic on minority communities. As a collective, BLKBRD seeks to make high impact public artworks that connect people to their history and environment.
Installation view of BLOOM! by BLKBRD Collective, New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission 2020. Photo by Christa Holka. Image courtesy of the Artists.
“In celebration of the unique productivity and history of the New Covent Garden Market, ‘BLOOM!’ is a window, taking you behind the scenes of one of South London’s most vibrant environments. Building on our ‘Stay Strong Route’ project through which we sought to publicly celebrate essential workers during the 2020 pandemic, BLKBRD Collective wanted to characterise and illustrate the workers and the community of Nine Elms in vivid colour!“
– BLKBRD COLLECTIVE
“More than ever it’s important to harness the benefits of community spirit, enjoy the richness of the arts and celebrate the diversity of our society. This year’s installation does all of those things and we are proud to be delivering this important local project for another year.”
– ROB WILLIAMS, SENIOR DIRECTOR CONSTRUCTION, ST MODWEN
“This work is a celebration of the market and of the traders and customers who make it work 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. We’re highlighting the fundamental fact that the market’s traders are essential key workers. We’re proud to acknowledge their passion, knowledge, and the essential part they play in London's economy and the wider Nine Elms community. This artwork is current, at a time when we are all much more reflective on what it means to be a key worker and those things that are most important in our lives.”
– JO BREARE, GENERAL MANAGER, COVENT GARDEN MARKET AUTHORITY
“Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic to the public art sector, we are thrilled to unveil the fruits of a wonderful collaboration we have had the pleasure to work on for the past few months. BLKBRD Collective's powerful initiative ‘Stay Strong Route’ and their commitment to painting murals dedicated to key workers who have kept our city running during the pandemic, is a true reflection of the importance of artists in our society today, and we are continuously inspired by that. This year's commission presented the perfect opportunity for the collective to extend their series, this time featuring the key workers behind the food economy of London – in which New Covent Garden Market plays a major part. 'BLOOM!' reflects on the market’s rich environment and – most importantly – on the rich characters of the workers who make it so special.”
– ZARINA ROSSHEART, PROJECT CURATOR, ART NIGHT
The New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission for 2020 will act as a large-scale window for the public, revealing the colourful produce and the vibrancy of the market, from its customers to its market workers. ‘BLOOM!’ aims to emphasise the significance of the New Covent Garden Market as an invaluable source of produce that is deeply rooted in the community, economy and history of London's own cultural heritage.
Launching on 1 October 2020, the New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission for 2020 will run for twelve months on the building façade of The Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market on Nine Elms Lane, London.
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Megan McCann - Head of Communications
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