The iconic British retailer, Heal’s has announced that it is officially reopening the doors to the historic Mansard Gallery on Tuesday 15th February.
Originally opened by Ambrose Heal in 1917, the Mansard Gallery became a landmark destination for shoppers, art-lovers and design enthusiasts throughout the 20th Century, introducing the likes of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Amedeo Modigliani to the British public for the first time.
The new and improved exhibition space will see a series of artists take residencies within Heal’s flagship Tottenham Court Road store, offering a commercial platform for both established and emerging designers to sell their works to the public.
Chila Kumari Singh Burman will be the first artist to reside within the Mansard Gallery from 15th February until late March. Working across a wide range of mediums, from printmaking to painting, neon installations and film, Burman is celebrated for her radical feminist practice, as her work examines representation, gender and cultural identity.
The 22-piece exhibition, titled “Neon Drama and Pearl Drops”, will feature an immersive display of original 2D- and 3D- designs, including “My Tiger Janu”, a neon sculpture spanning three metres, which was inspired by Burman’s Hindu-Punjabi heritage.
Chila commented: “Childhood memories, Hindu mythology and Punjabi culture have been key sources of inspiration for the pieces shown in this exhibition. I wanted to capture my experiences growing up, from attending Hindu temple, to watching gloriously kitsch, vivid Bollywood films, being awed by the Blackpool illuminations, and paying tribute to my father’s ice cream van with its vibrant display of colours and a leaping tiger affixed to the roof.
“This is a unique opportunity for artists to be able to showcase their works within an established retail space, and I am extremely excited to be working with Heal’s to illuminate interiors with vibrant portrayals of stories from my life.”
Hamish Mansbridge, CEO of Heal’s, added: “For more than 200 years, Heal’s has been committed to supporting innovation and creating opportunities for talented artists and designers, no matter how established in their career they may be.
“It is a pleasure to be celebrating this heritage by reopening the Mansard Gallery, which I hope will offer an exciting shopping experience for customers whilst providing a platform for the next generation of artists.”
Initially launched in 1917, the Mansard Gallery was a pioneering space that exhibited work from prolific international artists including Picasso, Matisse and Modigliani, and attracted attention from figures such as Virgina Woolfe and Vanessa Bell. The gallery flourished as a commercial and artistic space for many years and played a valuable role in creating the cultural landscape we enjoy today.
The new Mansard Gallery will open at Heal’s flagship store on Tottenham Court Road on Tuesday 15th February.