Posted on 18 Apr, 2013

British artist Jo Peel recently completed her ‘Things Change’ project on the famous East London street art wall outside of The Village Underground event space. The project culminated in a three-minute animation of the wall developing over the course of the project. The animation explores the impermanence of the buildings and debris created by people as the forces of nature eventually win out. We caught up with Jo and asked her about her project…

Check out the ‘Things Change’ animation

Getting Animated

The animation project has been in the pipeline for a while; I started it a year ago in Brazil but it ended badly after I was robbed and I lost the footage. It took me a year to recover from that and get myself a new camera and a new wall! Watching the videos of artist BLU really inspired me in the beginning [see Blu’s classic Muto video]. I’ve always loved painting on a large scale and the idea that I could get movement into the pictures and tell a story really excited me.

I made a storyboard for the animation and always had the overall story in mind, but I completely changed the location and only confirmed the Village Underground wall 2 days before the paint hit the wall! The space was about 20 times bigger than I’d anticipated, so I had to think pretty quick. After a days painting I’d have a look at what I’d done and try and work out where to go next. I had the end goal in mind of course, but I broke it down completely and only planned one day at a time. It was much more exciting to work spontaneously like this, as I could be totally immersed and inspired by my surroundings. 

This is the first time I’ve actually made an animation. I used to spend a lot of time making flick-books at junior school and I’ve always been fascinated with the process of hand drawn animations, and how you can trick the eye into believing that something is actually moving! To make an animation on this scale was brilliant and I fully intend to do it all again! 

The response has been amazing… I never anticipated so much positive feedback. Throughout the whole project I have been taking each step without really considering the next, so I couldn’t tell you where it will end up, but I do have some very exciting possibilities lined up!
We’re going to project the animation onto the outside of the building at my next solo show; I’ve got loads of new work planned so it should be a really interesting show. Then of course I’m going to start planning my next animation!

Jo’s solo show at the Ben Oakley Gallery in Greenwich starts on the 15th of June.


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