A vibrant citrus fruit artwork by photographer, Eyal Granit has been unveiled on the Nine Elms Lane façade of New Covent Garden Market in South West London, as part of a new public art initiative.

The New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission is a new three-year long public art initiative, funded by VINCI St. Modwen (VSM) in association with Covent Garden Market Authority and realised in collaboration with London’s largest contemporary art festival Art Night. It aims to promote the work of artists of all career stages working within photography, painting, text or other two-dimensional medium.

For the New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission 2019, artist Eyal Granit (b.1979, Jerusalem, Israel) was chosen to create a new work titled ‘Still Life Citrus’ (2019), which was installed on 18 October 2019 and will be on display until October 2020.

The commissioned artwork was selected through a public open call with the help of an expert advisory board and is presented on the New Covent Garden Market building façade in Nine Elms Lane, London.

More than 70 artists from around the world competed for the opportunity to design an artwork inspired by fruit, vegetables or flowers, the key products of New Covent Garden Market – the UK’s original and largest wholesale fresh produce market.

In his winning artwork, Granit creates an image that reflects on the immortal nature of fruit. Reminiscent of the works of 16th and 17th-century painters and produced using the focus stacking technique, this hyper-realistic fantasy photograph glorifies the common objects of daily life. Inspired by ‘Bodegones’ by the Spanish master Juan Sánchez Cotán, which Granit came across while studying photography in Madrid. The image features an abundance of citrus fruits displayed on a large table in and around crystal glasses and vases, antique jars and trays, or hung from above, and complemented with arrangements of orchids and daffodils. Combining multiple images taken at different focus distances gives the resulting image a greater depth of field, creating this panoramic tableau outside the constraints of a single frame.

The judging panel for the New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission 2019 was chaired by Aida Esposito, Founder and Director of Creativethinking and Lead Creative Strategist for VINCI St. Modwen, and comprised of Anna Skladmann, Visual Artist; Charlotte Brooks, Art Curator, RHS Lindley Library; Lynn Parker, Collection Curator, Kew Gardens and Zarina Rossheart, Director of Open Programme, Art Night. The selection process was held in consultation with representatives of VSM, Covent Garden Market Authority and market traders.

Rob Williams, Senior Director of Construction at St. Modwen, said:

“We are excited to have commissioned Eyal Granit’s ‘Still Life Citrus’ to be on display on the border of the redevelopment of the market, giving passers by a unique insight into the impressive market operating behind this very facade. This commission builds on VSM’s other community art projects based around the redevelopment area, including the acclaimed Edible Avenue on Thessaly Road and The Whale Wall at the nearby St. George’s school by renowned artist Mr. Dane”

Eyal Granit said:

“Citrus for me is going back to childhood. With this work I reflect on the ideas of home, belonging, memory and personal history. I have been passionate about photography since an early age and I am truly humbled to have received such an incredible opportunity to present my work to a global audience in London, where the public can encounter and enjoy it every day. That’s where artwork and real life connect, and this connection somehow brings the work to life.”

Zarina Rossheart, Art Night Open Programme Director, said:

“It’s an honour to have been invited by VINCI St. Modwen to curate and contribute to the development of this exciting new public art initiative for showcasing artworks celebrating New Covent Garden Market following a hugely successful collaboration during Art Night 2018. I am proud to be working with Eyal Granit who presented a fascinating proposal for the Vitrine and especially thankful to the Advisory Board and market representatives for working with us on shortlisting the winning artist for this year’s commission.”

Daniel Tomkinson, Chief Executive at Covent Garden Market Authority, said:

“Eyal’s artwork beautifully captures the freshness and vibrancy of the produce that New Covent Garden Market is famous for, and was a worthy winner of this year’s New Covent Garden Market Vitrine Art Commission. We’d like to give special thanks to Lynn Parker from Royal Botanical Gardens Kew and Charlotte Brooks from the Royal Horticultural Society for giving their time and expertise to help select this show-stopping image, which we’re delighted to display on the Flower Market’s façade.”

Find out more about New Covent Garden Market, here: https://www.newcoventgardenmarket.com/