The show will be available to the public for free from 23 July until 31 October and follows an annual commission that celebrates the best rising talent in the fields of visual arts and illustration, with previous commissions including award-winning Pakistani visual artist Sara Shakeel and popular London illustrator Hattie Stewart.
Manjit Thapp is an illustrator who graduated from Camberwell College of Arts in 2016, where she studied illustration. Her work combines digital and traditional media, and she enjoys layering textures and patterns to create her illustrations.
In My Head Is A Jungle, Thapp will transform the gallery space into a three-dimensional maze-like structure adorned with large-scale murals and sculptures for visitors to explore, with a giant fluorescent red sun hanging above. This symbol is an integral theme of the young illustrators' renderings, along with snakes, tigers, tropical flora, and a young Asian protagonist, representing empowerment, particularly for women, within today's modern cultural landscape.
Guests will be invited to journey and meander through this created jungle, which will have abundant greenery dancing across the artist's physical work. Thapp will showcase overgrowing thoughts, tangled feelings, and suppressed fears. The work creates a fragmented narrative that you'll have to piece together – acting like pages in a diary.
"I'm excited to have the opportunity to bring my 2D illustrated world to life and expand on many of the recurring themes in my work in a brand-new way," she says. "I hope to highlight how art can be used to channel our emotions by creating illustrations that draw upon everyday feelings."
Thapp's success comes after launching her graphic novel Feelings this year and creating illustrations for Stylist, Time Magazine, Google, Tate x LDN WMN, and many more. She's well known for her depictions of proud women and often centring on an Asian protagonist that stands front and centre.
Her work is soft and expressive, lending the viewer a whole new world to explore. And her central protagonist makes the work feel even more like a graphic novel, as you encounter all of the varying environments that she can fit into.
The exhibition will be Thapp's chance to showcase her standout visual aesthetic whilst creating a unique vision for the gallery space. My Head Is A Jungle opens at NOW Gallery on Greenwich Peninsula on 23 July and will run until 31 October 2021.