After a successful first year, we return with the second edition of Vitrine; London's freshest art commission celebrating London's oldest market. Through Vitrine, we are lifting the lid on the market to explore the colossal pick of fresh produce that you find every day at New Covent Garden Market.
Vitrine Art Commission is founded and funded by VINCI St. Modwen, the market’s redevelopment partner, and delivered in collaboration with Art Night, London’s all-night free contemporary art festival.
Pictured above: Vitrine 2019 - Eyal Granit, ‘Still Life Citrus’, New Covent Garden Market, 2019. Photo: Tom Carter
We are looking for artwork proposals that celebrate the themes of our market such as fruit, vegetables, flowers and/or plants. Your artwork should serve to build a closer relationship between the market and Londoners by putting the spotlight on the wonderful produce that makes the market so renowned.
The commission, which we refer to as a ‘Vitrine’, can feature photography, painting, text work or any other two-dimensional medium. The artwork will be replicated onto perforated vinyl sheeting by our development partner VINCI St. Modwen and affixed to the frontage of the market. The dimensions for the artwork are 20.61m x 4.8m.
Please refer to the selection criteria and guidance notes for applicants here before applying.
New Covent Garden Market is the UK’s largest fresh produce market. Our community of traders keep a discerning London fed and flowered by supplying the capital’s chefs and florists with wonderful fruit, veg, flowers and plants.
The Flower Market sits directly on Nine Elms Lane opposite the famed Battersea Power Station. The building façade has a 20m x 5m vitrine that is now an established public art space. The vitrine sees 25,000 vehicles pass by every day – that’s more than 9 million a year – and many people walking by too. This is a vast art canvas with an enormous public audience.
Pictured above: Art Night 2018: Anna Skladmann, 'Ghost In The Machine - Understanding The Language of Flowers', New Covent Garden Market, 2018. Photo: Christa Holka
Background: A place of boundless produce
If we told you that New Covent Garden Market was London’s A-Z of fruit, veg and flowers, you might start thinking apple, banana, carnation. But that’s not quite what we mean, though of course we stock those too. You see, down here A is for Wild Asparagus, White Jerusalem Artichokes and Anemone Mistral Bordeaux. B is for Bergamot, Buddha’s Hand and Butterfly Ranunculus. And C is Cicorino Rosso, Chervil Root and Campanula Champion Blue.
When we compare apples to oranges – though we know we shouldn’t – we’re comparing Discovery, Russet and Zari to Valencia, Cara Cara and Blood. And when you ask us for mushrooms, we say mousseron, trompette, morel or cep?
As the suppliers to London’s incredibly talented and ambitious chefs and florists, our responsibility to them and to London is to bring the most delicious, beautiful, local and seasonal, obscure and hard-to-find fruit, veg and flowers that are grown here in the UK and across the world. ‘Same old, same old’ just doesn’t cut the mustard down here. We’ve been called a fresh produce catwalk. Why? Because this is where the latest food and flower trends are shown off long before they hit the mainstream shelves.
This is New Covent Garden Market. 37 acres of night-time industrial activity juxtaposed with the natural product it sells. It’s here where the fields join the city. Where the natural world enters the urban environment.
How to enter and more information
Entries are open from Thursday 5 March and open to artists of all ages and stages in their careers. The final date to submit entries will be 6pm on Wednesday 27 May 2020.