‘Bloom!’ by the south-east London based BLKbrd Collective was chosen after more than 230 artists submitted work as part of New Covent Garden's annual Vitrine Art Commission. It'll be on display until October 2021.
It’s a celebratory mural of the market and its integral workers, highlighting the importance of the fruit, vegetable and floral industries that keep London running. BLKbrd Collective’s more recent work has been used by news organisations to illustrate and celebrate key workers on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Above: part of the central panel of BLOOM! by the BLKbrd Collective - New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission 2020.
“We’re highlighting the fundamental fact that our traders are essential key workers,” says Jo Breare, General Manager, Covent Garden Market Authority (CGMA). “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.”
Now into its second year, the Vitrine Art Commission is a three-year public art initiative funded by St. Modwen in association with CGMA and brought to fruition by London’s largest contemporary arts festival, Art Night. The aim is to promote and nurture emerging artists, working within photography, painting, text, illustration, and other two-dimensional mediums.
“More than ever it’s important to harness the benefits of community spirit, celebrate the richness of the arts and celebrate the diversity of our society,” says St Modwen’s Rob Williams. “This art installation does all of those things and we are proud to be backing this important local project for another year.”
Above l to r: the BLKbrd Collective's Sondos Mahdy, Dean Bowen and Tasnim Mahdy, with CGMA's Garin Auld and St. Modwen's Joe Vere-Bujnowski. Photo by Christa Holka.
This year saw an all-time high in submissions, as artists from around the world competed for the opportunity to design the artwork, inspired by the fresh produce that New Covent Garden Market is famous for alongside the market’s physical context and communities.
Bloom! offers passers-by and market visitors an accessible insight into the trade and custom of our market – traditionally not visible to the public due to the market’s night-time working hours.