Arts & Culture  Features

Essential market workers are the face of New Covent Garden Market mural

Installation view of BLOOM!

Published on
October 15, 2020


You may have already spotted the new colourful mural adorning The Flower Market on Nine Elms Lane.

The artwork, titled ‘BLOOM!’, is the latest New Covent Garden Vitrine Art Commission, and celebrates market workers across the fruit, vegetable and floral industries that keep London running with their fresh produce.

‘BLOOM!’ was unveiled 1 October 2020 and will run for twelve months on the building façade of The Flower Market at New Covent Garden Market in the heart of Nine Elms.

‘BLOOM!’ was created by the talented south-east London artists that make up the BLKBRD Collective, who have been working with local communities throughout the coronavirus pandemic to showcase marginalised professions, and their roles in shaping sustainable and self-sufficient communities and lifestyles.

This powerful new mural builds on their previous work from their ‘Stay Strong Route’ project – which also celebrated essential workers during the outbreak.

Jo Breare, General Manager for Covent Garden Market Authority said: “This work is a celebration of the market and of the traders and customers who make it work 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. We’re highlighting the fundamental fact that the market’s traders are essential key workers.

“We’re proud to acknowledge their passion, knowledge, and the essential part they play in London’s economy and the wider Nine Elms community. 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.”

BLKBRD Collective said: “In celebration of the unique productivity and history of the New Covent Garden Market, ‘BLOOM!’ is a window, taking you behind the scenes of one of South London’s most vibrant environments.

“Building on our ‘Stay Strong Route’ project, through which we sought to publicly celebrate essential workers during the 2020 pandemic, BLKBRD Collective wanted to characterise and illustrate the workers and the community of Nine Elms in vivid colour!”

The artists in front of BLOOM! by BLKBRD Collective. Photo by Christa Holka.

About the New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission

In its second year, New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission is a three-year long public art commission, initiated and funded by VINCI St. Modwen (VSM) in association with Covent Garden Market Authority and realised in collaboration with registered charity and art commissioning platform behind London’s annual all-night contemporary art festival, Art Night. It aims to promote the work of artists of all career stages.

The commissioned artwork is selected annually through a public open call with the help of an expert advisory board and is presented on the Flower Market façade of New Covent Garden Market in Nine Elms Lane, London. Artists are invited to apply with proposals of artworks inspired by fruit, vegetables and flowers, the key products of New Covent Garden Market – the UK’s largest and oldest fresh wholesale produce market. New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission launched in 2019 with the work titled ‘Still Life Citrus’ by artist Eyal Granit (b.1979, Jerusalem, Israel).

About the regeneration of New Covent Garden Market

The joint venture of VINCI St. Modwen (VSM) in partnership with the Covent Garden Market Authority (CGMA) is delivering the redevelopment of New Covent Garden Market, a landmark multi-phased project and the largest scheme by area in the Nine Elms regeneration area on the South Bank of the River Thames.

New Covent Garden Market, London’s original – and the UK’s largest – fresh produce market, lies at the heart of Nine Elms. The market previously operated on three sites totalling 57 acres, and these are being consolidated onto a single, state-of-the-art, 37-acre site releasing 20 acres of land for development.

These 20 acres are being transformed into new high-quality, residential-led mixed-use schemes, benefiting from riverside views and comprising approximately 3,000 new homes including 600 affordable homes, 135,000 sq ft of commercial accommodation and 100,000 sq ft of retail, leisure and new community facilities, including shops, cafés and restaurants. It will provide around 2,000 new jobs for this area of London’s Nine Elms, in addition to the 2,500 retained jobs in the market.

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