The Handbook
The Handbook

While the country may firmly be in lockdown for the next two weeks, that factor hasn’t stopped Tate Britain from revealing its annual winter commission and its exteriors becoming utterly transformed with a giant light installation this weekend. 

Last weekend saw Tate Britain totally transform, covered with fluorescent neon lights and symbols across its exteriors, to coincide with Diwali, the Indian light festival which celebrates the victory of light over darkness.

The sensational display has been created by Chila Kumari Burman to celebrate the five-day light festival. It’s part of Tate Britain’s winter commissioning programme, which is now in its fourth year, and although this year has been considerably different than normal, the gallery still wanted to continue its annual programme in a slightly different format. 

Known for her bold, colourful and eye-catching work, Burman drew on the cultural influences represented by the festival and coated these themes, elements and colours onto a giant canvas. The canvas here being the Tate Britain.

The sensational display has been created by Chila Kumari Burman to celebrate the five-day light festival.

If you live nearby, head down and explore the various neon symbols, from the blue ‘evil eye’ or the Buri Nazar located over the central archway, to the technicoloured mini bus dotted on the steps. Hung around the pillars are previous works from Burman, which have been blown up and spread across the bellowing pillars.

Encouraging words and phrases have also been superimposed onto the gallery, in the hope of spreading uplifting messages during the Diwali festival, but also during the current pandemic which has single handedly shattered the city. From a simple neon orange ‘joy’ to the fluorescent pink phrase, ‘remembering a brave new world’, hopefully these simple reminders will help spread the simple message and make passersby smile in awe.

If you live a little further afield, fear not because the installation will be up at Tate Britain until the end of January, so there’s plenty of time to explore the neon colours and snap up a photo for the ‘Gram.  

Best seen come nightfall, head down and explore the canvas inspired by all things mythological, Indian heritage and popular culture.

Chila Kumari Burman’s installation will be up at Tate Britain until the end of January

www.tate.org.uk


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