Manjit Thapp brings her illustrated world to life for Now Gallery
Housed in London’s recently redeveloped Greenwich Peninsula, Now Gallery’s Young Artist programme works with upcoming artists to provide them with a new platform to showcase their work and create a unique vision for the gallery space.
The gallery’s annual Young Artist commission celebrates the best rising talent in the fields of visual arts and illustration, with previous editions of the free display featuring the work of Pakistani visual artist and Instagram sensation Sara Shakeel and London illustrator, Hattie Stewart.
All images © Charles Emerson
This year it’s the turn of Manjit Thapp, a Birmingham-born illustrator known for her richly atmospheric scenes and intriguing characters, which she creates using a combination of analogue and digital media.
Thapp’s latest commission marks the first time she has translated her painterly, iconographic style from the page to create an immersive display. My Head is a Jungle sees the illustrator transform the gallery space into a 3D maze-like structure adorned with large-scale murals and sculptures, with a large fluorescent red sun hanging above.
The sun symbol is an integral theme of her renderings, as well as snakes, tigers, tropical flora and a young Asian protagonist, which feature regularly to represent the contemporary female experience within today’s modern cultural landscape.
As guests wander through this created jungle, weaving amongst the artist’s physical scrapbook of collected emotions, they are invited to explore experiences that gather within everyone’s own minds.
Speaking to CR ahead of the show earlier this year, Thapp said: “The show is called My Head is a Jungle, so it’s looking at the similarities between our minds and a jungle setting. There’s themes of overgrown thoughts, tangled feelings, hidden fears.”
The exterior of the gallery will also be animated by a similar jungle-esque landscape, inviting visitors in as part of Greenwich Peninsula’s wider summer programming.
My Head is a Jungle is on display at Now Gallery until 31 October; nowgallery.co.uk