Covent Garden Market Is Now A Neon Wonderland

Covent Garden Market Is Now A Neon Wonderland
Do You See Words In Rainbows? is at Covent Garden Market till the end of October

Chila Burman's playful scattering of neon icons and mottos on the facade of Tate Britain brightened up an otherwise damp squib of a festive season last year.

Now, the Punjabi Liverpudlian artist has been called on to bring her light fantastic to Covent Garden Market.

Snake Shack, surely?

Do You See Words In Rainbows? — described by Burman as "a celebration of love and identity" — is a neon wonderland that fills the historic market's South Hall with the artist's trademark large-scale lights.

The title of the installation is emblazoned across the ceiling in purple, while phosphorescent peacocks, flowers, bulls and snakes hover from the rafters. (The latter is perched above a Shake Shack, which surely should temporarily rebrand to Snake Shack?)

The installation is described as a celebration of love and identity

The installation's centrepiece is a 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, says Burman, embodies the uplifting messages she wants Do You See Words In Rainbows? to create — for example, Pyar hi Pyar means 'love is love' in Hindi.

Chila Burman overseeing the instalation
Chila Burman overseeing the installation

A glowing tiger sculpture — similar to one that prowled the Tate's balustrades last year — can be found in the market's North Piazza.

Tiger tiger burning bright: the artist with one of her big neon cats

Chila Burman said on her latest installation — "I am so delighted to have been invited for this commission, I’ve been drawn to Covent Garden since moving to London in the 1980s. It is this exciting energy and sense of magic that I'm capturing."

The octagonal centrepiece displays the words: Deluxe, Kismet, Fruity, Pyar hi Pyar, Razzle, Love, Shine and Light

Do You See Words In Rainbows? is at Covent Garden Market until the end of October. Entry is free. Covent Garden will donate £1 to LGBTQI+ charity Albert Kennedy Trust for each person Instagramming a picture of themselves at the installation and using #CoventGardenInRainbows.

Last Updated 27 August 2021