Street art duo transform cities with their giant murals
2:47 PM EST, Thu January 18, 2018
The "Athena Rising" mural in Leeds is said to be the tallest in the UK. It's the work of British street art duo Nomad Clan.
Their work often tackles social and environmental issues. "Pipe Dreams," in Arvika, Sweden, depicts an old angler with a dream of endless fish. "It's easy to live under the illusion that our lifestyles aren't having a negative impact on the environment," says Nomad Clan.
Joy Gilleard, known as Cbloxx, is one half of Nomad Clan. "I think one of the things we do is mash up the storytelling element with some of the heritage stuff, maybe social issues that we're touching on. But we're presenting it in a way that everyone can enjoy on a visual level," she says.
Nika Kramer/Urban Nation
Hayley Garner, known as Aylo, is the other member. "We usually start with massive research of where we're going, what the place looks like, if there's any folklore surrounding the area," she says.
Nika Kramer/photo by Nika Kramer/Urban Nation
Their work "Mokosz," in Lodz, Poland, depicts a Slavic goddess from traditional Polish folklore.
"True North," in Leeds, makes reference to the historical importance of mills and industry in northern England. The figure on the left is "Jimmy Boy," Aylo's grandfather, who worked for years in a mill in the town of Rochdale.
"Sentient Beings" shows an octopus and a human. Both are intelligent creatures, explains Nomad Clan, but "one lives in harmony with its environment, the other disrupts the balance."
"King of Nowt," ("nowt" is slang for "nothing") in Manchester, is meant to raise awareness of high rates of suicide among young men in the UK. It illustrates someone conforming to a stereotype of a strong male.
"Still Waters," in Belfast, is described by Nomad Clan as "a nod to Belfast's ship building heritage, its linen and its rope industry. The wolf is on Belfast's shield. Wolves were once an integral part of the Irish countryside and culture."
"Final Fleet," in Blackpool, UK, is a tribute to the coastal town's diminished fishing industry.
Nomad Clan at work in their studio. "The most intense part [of the work] is getting the sketch down and getting the sketch right, because that's the framework that you build from," says Arlo.