London SW9 9TP
2 Jan – 8 Jan (possibly to be extended)
UPDATE – EXTENDED TO 30 JAN, contact Neonita for details
Hello Saarf London, I see you got a new universe and jolly impressive and colourful it is too. Neonia, created by Neonita, is an all enveloping psychedelic experience, a woodland glade populated by strange fluorescent vaguely feline creatures playing with their young under a moonlight sky and watched over by some kind of Emperor Aladdin.
Neonita paraded her early characters on Shoreditch walls in 2010 and the honest reaction was “wow, different!” These fluorescent coloured nursery cartoon beasts were certainly not run of the mill street art characters nor even graffiti characters but, from practicing on the fence in her back garden Neonita soon progressed to murals in Shoreditch and unusually, for this style of imagery, painting with graffiti writers in Halls Of Fame.
In Neonia, Neonita treats us to a totally immersive experience with every surface covered in crazy neon colours. Two special effects are then brought into play to complete the experience. The first is lashings of UV light dripping everywhere, the second is found on a small bench alongside a sign saying “please return after use”, a pair of 3D glasses. WOW, the effect is far out trippy maaaan. Orange colours lift off the walls while deeps blues recede and the combination is like some kind of hippy fractal nightmare.
Are these monsters lions or pussy cats? Friends or foes? It seems that among the lurid candy coloured brightness dark deeds may be afoot. This is an emergent post apocalyptic universe Neonita has set up, many of the creatures may be mutants after an unspecified wipe out event and not all of the creatures necessarily have friendly intentions.
The effect is impossible to recreate on a blog …unless perhaps you have both a black light fluorescent tube and 3D glasses at home. Sadly I don’t live in that kind of home.
Gentle movements of the head produce distortions of the images, a pussycat living below the moon eerily emerges out of the moonlight cloudscape and hangs in mid air and the eyes and noses of various monsters slide out of their sockets, while your brain screams “this can’t be happening, the orange and blue are next to eachother but my eyes see them sliding over eachother”. Who needs drugs?
Most compelling is the ethereal cosmos painted onto the ceilings, pinky orange clouds descend into the room and swirl around your head while behind them stars and astral dust twinkle.
Every way we turn there seem to be garish monsters preying on us.
A photo cannot convey the effect of the gaping mouth of this character as the lips move forwards to devour you while the cake-hole pushes deep back into the wall.
Neonia has emerged as a newfound state contained within Brixton Bloc, a building that is shortly to be demolished.
This space has history and in one or two locations there was evidence of previous occupants creating a do-it-yourself solution to the housing crisis, bedding and wall photographs were found under the concrete stairs and Neonita has retained some of these artifacts in honour of past usage.
Getting into Neonia may require some initiative, at the gated entrance a notice advises you to yell or ring a mobile number, a kindly gentleman responded to my bellows through the gate to the inner courtyard and pointed me upstairs and along a balcony to the right location but it seemed the gate may not actually be locked. I crossed Neonia’s threshold with my head in a fairly grim place thanks to the wishes of three different homicidal TfL bus drivers asserting their god given right to take over the space occupied by my bicycle on the road but basking in the lurid ambiance of Neonia had me feeling like I had spent an hour on the beach. A rather bizarre and potentially fatal psychedelic beach but very therapeutic.
Sadly Neonia’s existence is ephemeral and today is the last scheduled day but watch this space, there is talk of a couple of weeks stay of dissolution and if that materialises, do try to get there,
All photos: Dave Stuart aka NoLionsInEngland. Technical Note: photos were shot in raw and jpg. There was absolutely no point in colour correction so the colours here are as captured in jpg by the camera and are pretty spot on.