Stretching across seven arches of 22 Bishopsgate’s Market floor, Sinta Tantra’s immersive site-specific installation, Illuminated, frames the central social space of the building. The work draws inspiration from the rich history of the City of London to inform a contemporary reading of this dynamic new public space. A careful composition of geometric forms suspended in a formal tension creates a sense of harmony and balance, echoing the ethos of wellbeing and creative exchange at the heart of 22.
The spirit of community, collaboration, craftsmanship and charity embodied by the Liveries, London’s ancient and modern trade associations, is evoked in the work. Here, Tantra displays a ‘masculine’ colour palette, which is drawn from heraldic tones of subdued blues, blacks and neutrals that fill solid geometric forms – their ‘heaviness’ intersected by circular motifs, delicate lines and the luminous surface of 24-carat gold leaf – reminiscent of an illuminated manuscript or sacred fresco.
For Tantra, the use of gold symbolises the material’s universal appeal throughout the ages and its historical link to the City. As one of the 12 Livery Companies situated within the Square Mile, the Goldsmiths Company received its first royal charter in 1327. The Company continues to be responsible for the crafting of gold, its hallmarking and coin production for the Royal Mint.
Tantra’s international public art practice has seen her install artworks in cities across the world – from Jakarta, Seoul, and Sharjah to Hainan and Karachi, among others. Throughout these she’s shown how local and global cultures merge, highlighting the porous boundaries between technology and craft and the importance of how narratives shape identities. “I have often felt an element of storytelling in my practice through colour and form, creating a sense of rhythm – bringing a story to life through painting.”
Read about more Consultancy projects at 22 Bishopsgate