Artist Jo Peel is a painter, printmaker, animator, film maker and a rising star of the UK contemporary art movement. Born in Sheffield and armed with a BA Hons degree in Illustration from Falmouth Art College, Jo progressed through a variety of art and design based projects before becoming a commissioned and exhibited artist in her own right from 2008.
Jo’s work is rooted in a poetic urban architecture, capturing intimate elements of the city landscape at moments which could be recent history or perhaps a post-apocalyptic future. Locations are familiar yet decayed, the desolation generally heightened by man’s absence.
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. Her signature style revolves around ornate line drawings of the textured facades of buildings and remnants of heavy duty cranes. Crumbling walls, wind blasted trees and fallen stones lend an air of charming desolation to her landscapes.
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.
Sheffield often sees Jo bringing her art back to her home community. In June 2013 she created a large animation workshop program for all the pupils at Hunters Bar Infants school which culminated in all the pupils participating in a charming animation highlighting the role of stainless steel manufacture in Sheffield’s development.
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 created a spectacular 300m wall painting for the Living Walls mural at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, East London, commissioned by the London Legacy Development Corporation. Painted and repainted over four weeks, Jo used the wall to create the animiated story “Meet Me In The City”.