Covent Garden is looking a little different today, as Chila Burman has transformed its historic market building into what can only be described as a neon wonderland. The 3D installation is inspired by the British artist's Punjabi heritage and is themed around love and identity.
Full of vast brightly coloured light sculptures and uplifting messages, the display welcomes us with the message 'Do you see words in a rainbow?', enticing us into the Market Building to discover more of her neon sculptures. From symbolic peacocks, tigers and flowers, to snakes, bulls and positive words and collages, Burman's artwork illuminates the space.
At its heart lies a distinctive floating neon octagon suspended from the centre of the Hall, displaying the words Deluxe, Kismet, Fruity, Pyar hi Pyar, Razzle, Love, Shine and Light. Each word was selected to embody the uplifting messages Burman wants the installation to communicate. The word Deluxe means wonderful, super and luxurious; Kismet denotes destiny and fate; Razzle is used to describe celebration and excitement and the word Pyar hi Pyar means love is love in Hindi.
Burman has also brought her own interpretation of Covent Garden's history as a fruit, vegetable and flower market with the word Fruity, also the Punjabi word for tasty and delicious. Finally, the installation incorporates the words Bizarre and Bazaar, with the wordplay referencing the market history, as Bazaar means 'market' in Hindi.
If you venture to the North Piazza, you'll meet a white neon tiger sculpture, based on one of Burman's famous bright collages which are inspired by childhood memories, and a pink neon message 'Look at you through their eyes and wonder what you see' lighting up the Market Building at the bottom of James Street.
As the installation is a celebration of love and identity, Covent Garden and Chila Burman will be supporting the Albert Kennedy Trust during this year's Pride. Covent Garden will donate £1 to the LGBTQ charity for each person Instagramming a picture of themselves at the installation and using #CoventGardenInRainbows. So what are you waiting for?