Illustrator Murugiah is behind a giant psychedelic mural for Saatchi & Saatchi's London office. Commissioned by its sister agency Prodigious, the four-storey artwork hopes to capture the creative agency's culture of optimism, self-belief, collaboration, inclusivity, good energy and an "awesome spirit of hustle".
Installed in a full-height atrium within the Chancery Lane building, Murugiah put his usual injection of colour and energy along with his host of charming characters. "Saatchi & Saatchi wanted to use more of its physical spaces in its London hub, "says Murugiah, "to help deliver its mission to become the most influential creative company in the UK. It was no easy feat, given such a challenge, but it was incredibly fun to bring the concept to life."
The artwork features a giant 's' and 's', plus the agency's famous ampersand, hidden amongst the cackle of characters. "The message is one of friendliness, positivity and hope. It's quite typical of my style," says Murugiah. "I love to lead with 'kindness in the face of chaos', that's the theme I usually go on."
At the beginning of the project, the location of the mural wasn't certain and Murugiah was offered various spots around the Saatchi & Saatchi office. "In the end, I opted to choose a tall and obscure space in the atrium because I prefer a challenge. I also love how the light spills in from above, which helps the mural to stand out and also adds excitement up a corner of the space that might otherwise be overlooked."
Speaking of the roof light, Murugiah says there's an extra dimension to his artwork. "It almost takes on a life of its own," he says. "As the light shifts and changes throughout the day, so does the mural. It was a nice surprise to see the colours go from vibrant to various hues, depending on whether it was morning or afternoon."
To give a little insight into the process, Murugiah created the artwork digitally and then worked with east London vinyl graphics studio, Papa Display, who printed the design, and the IGI Fitting team installed the piece on-site. "I can't thank Papa and IGI enough. They were able to translate this crazy idea into reality."
An award-winning artist and designer based in London, Murugiah was born and raised in the UK with Sri Lankan heritage. Describing his style as "surreal, joyful and loud", he uses bright and bold colours along with detailed compositions to bring us art that's swirling with intrigue and wonder. So far he has created film posters for Disney, Marvel, and the Stanley Kubrick Estate. And he's also done collabs with Lush, Lucy & Yak, and the Grateful Dead.