Jo Peel spends her time documenting in great detail her fascination with everyday scenes and scenarios. From abandoned east London construction sites to the streets of Tokyo and Pittsburgh, all are captured in her well observed and uniquely executed style.
By drawing, Peel offers her view that it is these cityscapes that are as important to the topographic psyche as the natural beauty of the nature that surrounds it. This is not finding beauty in the dust; this is offering a new language to understand what is beautiful.
This exploration of the urban metamorphosis is executed in a variety of mediums ranging from huge public murals and hand painted animations to canvas and fine art editions.
Jo has created a number of short animated films based upon huge wall murals which she painstakingly paints and repaints for each frame in a time-lapse process which may take three or four weeks for a 3 minute edit. Her “Things Change” short film painted on the Village Underground Wall in Shoreditch, London was shortlisted for best animation as part of the 2012 programme at Encounters Short film and Animation festival and went on to become an Vimeo online sensation with over 100,000 views.
A busy schedule of commissions such as a series of painted animations based on the legacy of Madamoiselle Chanel displayed on large screens in Chanel’s flagship stores across Asia reflect Jo’s rising profile.
The architectural aspect to her work has led to her being commissioned to paint large murals such as the courtyard mural for Child Graddon Lewis on Commercial Road, painted for the 2012 London Design Festival.
Together with Christopher Jarratt and Tom Tobia, Jo set up the Community Kite Project in 2011 and alongside a series of community workshops curated an exhibition of kites painted by a number of artists including Kid Acne, Will Barras, Ema and Ryan Callanan.
Jo has exhibited in solo shows, group exhibitions and art fairs at home and abroad. The Ben Oakley Gallery in Greenwich hosted a London solo show in 2012 and 2013 projects included a flagship installation space at Moniker Art Fair, a residency in Poland and a large scale installation on London’s Southbank. In 2014 Jo took her work to Japan creating murals in Tokyo and Matsumoto and in London created a spectacular 300m wall painting for the Living Walls mural at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, commissioned by the London Legacy Development Corporation. Painted and repainted over four weeks, Jo used the wall to create the animated story “Meet Me In The City”.
2015 saw Jo return to her hometown of Sheffield for a major solo exhibition of new work contrasting the Steel Cities of Sheffield and Pittsburgh. Funded by Arts Council England. Steel City, City on the Move brought together an immersive kaleidoscope of murals, painting and film to explore the shared legacy of steel in Sheffield and its American counterpart, Pittsburgh, formerly the steel capital of the world.