London-based interdimensional artist
Representing Murugiah’s first ever 3D installation, Rangoli Mirrored Cosmos is described as a “vivid and engaging work” that juxtaposes the artist’s Western upbringing with his South Asian heritage. And, as the sculpture’s name suggests, it is based on the Hindu tradition of Rangoli, where colourful patterns are drawn on the floor near entrances to homes to bring luck and prosperity.
But rather than being realised with colourful chalk or paint as is convention during Rangoli, Murugiah’s sculpture will instead rise out of the ground as a “modern, mirrored light sculpture.” It will, however, maintain the appearance of an intricate mandala, which is a common sight during Diwali, the Hindu festival of light.
Opening on 16 September, the sculpture will also feature large interactive floor graphics at specific slots. These will invite the public to tap into their creativity by allowing them to use chalk to colour in their own Rangoli mandala. Promising to be a fusion of “interaction, play and joy”, the sculpture will combine Murugiah’s architectural training and his happy, psychedelic graphic style.
“I am really grateful that Greenwich Peninsula has supported this work and empowered me to explore the traditions of my heritage, which I often feel disconnected from,” says Murugiah. “I am also very excited to produce a large-scale public realm sculpture. As a former architect, engaging with the public on a human scale is very important to me.
“I love living in London, but sometimes it can get a little loud in my head, and I find myself weighed down with the world’s sorrows. Rangoli Mirrored Cosmos represents the interconnectivity of existence.
“The larger cosmos reflects ourselves: small universes suspended within an infinite one. I hope people who visit the sculpture can use it as an opportunity to remind themselves that existence is a beautiful, fleeting thing and can be joyful and filled with colour.”
As well as the light sculpture installation, Greenwich Peninsula will also host Rangoli art illustration sessions as part of The Big Draw. This event takes place every weekend between 7 October and 29 October and is part of the world’s biggest drawing festival that aims to promote visual literacy.
Elsewhere across the festival, which reflects on the role that art, culture and design play in the Greenwich Peninsula, visitors can enjoy London’s most impressive public art trail, The Tide. This will include new temporary installations from Ian Davenport and Marwan Kaabour and permanent works from Damien Hirst, Anthony Gormley, Allen Jones and more.
As for Diwali itself, this will be celebrated on 11 November with live music, talks and workshops. Special food experiences will also be provided at the Canteen and Bureau. Murugiah will also create a special limited-edition print and graphic poster to commemorate the festival of light.
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