Leeds based artists Lo & Vee have been taking the city by storm this summer with their stunning exhibition ‘An Other World’, a mixture of illustrative murals, framed works, and interactive video work inspired by folklore.
The exhibition, which takes place in Leeds Central Library’s excellent space, Room 700, takes us on a journey through a world of fantasy and magic, of mystical beings and fairy tales.
The installation is heavily inspired by readings that the library holds; books detailing mythical creatures, legendary tribes, deep sea creatures, rare artefacts and antiques. Their collaborative murals not only reflect their appreciation of nature, dream worlds and pattern, but also their bizarre ability to make the familiar unfamiliar.
Since opening at the end of July, hundreds of people have fully immersed themselves in this fanatical world of myths and monsters. However, I wanted to dig a little deeper, to find out exactly what makes both Lo & Vee tick. I caught up with them to ask them about the exhibition, humble origins, and dreams for the future.
1. A lot of your work focuses on nature running wild, what is it about nature that inspires you to create?
We are definitely both constantly intrigued by nature. We watch a lot of David Attenborough and I think the intelligence of nature inspires us, we enjoy drawing from the organic patterns and fluid movements of plant life and sea creatures.
2. What kind of artistic backgrounds do you come from?
We have both studied art at a degree level, Lo at Glasgow School of Art and Vee at Leeds College of Art. They have always been interested in art and creativity, Vee’s parents are both very artistic.
3. How did you start getting into painting murals? What was the first mural you painted?
After a boozy night of discussing our potential futures we had a bit of a brainwave and decided to set up our own company creating drawing classes for people who didn’t think they could draw. We had a lucky break when a friend at Whites Deli contacted us to ask if we’d be interested in drawing on their 8ft Chalk Board. From there it all snowballed. House Of Koko got in touch with us through twitter and asked us if we’d be interested in running workshops from their coffee shop. The shop was still being set up at the time and after meeting with them they asked us about designing some murals for them, which we jumped at the chance to do. We’ve being building our repetoire ever since.
4. How did you meet each other?
We met at high school. We probably formed our bond in Art Class, where we actually weren’t very good. We spent a lot of time drawing still lives and I think our joint hatred of that really solidfied our friendship.
5. Do you read a lot? What are your favourite fictional novels and why?
We probably dont spend as much time reading as we should. But we do listen to a lot of audiobooks. We’ve actually being listening to some Poirot whilst we draw on the walls.
6. Your work explores a lot of folklore, what is your favourite folklore tale?
I think one of our favourite folkore books from the exhibition has been the Water Babies.
7. Finally, what can we be expecting from you guys in the near future?
In the future we hope to get involved in some more residencies! We are looking forwards to resuming our Drawing Club in Chapel Allerton, as we’ve had to put it on hold during the residency.
You can see the exhibition until closing date 20th August. Check out @loandvee on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more information.