The Duo of the 2016 – Nomad Clan (UK)

“When making passion into a profession, you can loose the feeling of freedom/spontaneity in your work at times. So, in order to keep the fires burning, we try to work on projects that we care about.” – CBloxx of Nomad Clan.

As we enter the month of November, we are reminded of the global movement Movemberthat started off in 2003, to raise awareness of men’s health. (Isn’t it ironic that people shave their hair in support for cancer, but grow ‘manly’ moustache to show support to raise funds for gendered cancer?) But I digress.

To celebrate the start of a ‘gendered’ month, Stickerbomb spoke to fantastic female street artist duo, Nomad Clan (@nomad.clan) from Manchester, UK. But hold on – before you close this page, this article isn’t going to be a “female in street art”-kinda feminist cliche that we’ve heard countless times.

With the Nomad Clan, they caught our attention with their diverse interests and concerns they champion. Each work stays so true to their personalities that it emanates in their works – be it an LGBT wall, charity project or a beer brewery collaboration. Other than the very fact that they share the experience of females working in a male-dominated scene, Nomad Clan’s projects provide an alternative perspective on graffiti/street artists. Check out what they have to say about making their work meaningful, while also keeping their passion alive.


https://www.facebook.com/pg/streetartatlas/photos/?tab=album&album_id=970956169619061
TEMPEST, 2015 – Liverpool, UK. Nomad Clan challenged themselves with this 7 stories (21m) high wall, through bad weather and illness. Photo from Street Art Atlas.
Hey, Aylo and CBloxx of Nomad Clan! To our Stickerbomb fans, how would you describe your style(s) in one sentence. Okay, maybe two since there are two of you.

Ey up! I think we are a right mash up made of both our respective styles that somehow has become a very particular style in itself! Sometimes our Nomad Clan murals look like giant folklore book illustrations – there is a definite playfulness to what we do which is very much from Aylo’s ball park, but then its balanced out by my melancholy/dark sides too.

We enjoy painting giant murals the most, our largest so far is 7 stories high but we have a few scheduled in for next year that are even bigger, excitement and pant-shitting in equal measures!

 

Nomad Clan
CBloxx of Nomad Clan. Image Courtesy of Drew Forsyth Photography.
Well I’ll not beat around the bush – what is it like being a female crew in the graffiti/street art scene?

Hahaha, there’s a pun! I think recently things have progressed rapidly, although women have always been active in graffiti right from the beginning. Maybe its the anonymity of graffiti that has additionally prevented them from being heard of. Having said that there has always been a gender imbalance, it was primarily a male dominated scene and to some degree still is – lets say for example for every 4 globally recognised ‘names’ there maybe only one recognised female at the top of her game.

Personally I think street art has warped and changed the scene, graffiti and street art are definitely two separate art forms – one born from the other, but within the mutation of street art there is an evolution of mass popularity which is causing all kinds of people to get on board. Its reaching young creatives that may never have stumbled into graff or street art for that matter, some who now see it as a ‘career choice’, Kudos or a way to gain more ‘likes’ on social media – I just sicked in my mouth a bit! In my opinion graffiti & street art were subcultures that attracted misfits, anarchists, addicts, general nut jobs and people who just wanted to f**k stuff up!

Without sounding too negative, I feel it has lead to over saturation, lazy regurgitation, homogenization (street art ‘norms’). HOWEVER, some of the positives include seeing a rise in women taking part and gaining more visibility!

“Calais Jungle” 2016. Image Courtesy of Drew Forsyth Photography.
From painting the first LGBT mural in Europe in 2014 to a project with Art for Aid in a refugee camp in Calais recently, you guys are clearly doing great stuff beyond just art. What drives you to do the work you do?

We have spent over 8 years painting and living a life full of it (Aylo owned a graffiti supplies shop for 5 years) at some point along the way it became the centre of everything, its all either of us wanted to do… but we needed food and bill money too. When making passion into a profession, you can easily loose the feeling of freedom/spontaneity in your work at times. So in order to keep the fires burning, we try to work on projects that we care about.

I think as artists with an audience we have a level of responsibility to raise awareness, communicate and reach out as often as possible. If people can connect with your art and it evokes a feeling then it is the perfect starting point for conversations around subjects, whether it be about world issues or personal experiences.

Before I took the plunge and went full time ‘artist’ I volunteered as a youth worker, got trained up by the service and found myself, working in various council estates with disaffected young people for 5 years. Most of the kids and families had never left the estate, so often we had to think on our feet of activities we could do to engage and inform the young people. Creativity was the strongest tool we had, I learned a lot from that… some of the kids that were hardest to reach would show up at the centre for a full 2 hours to paint a mural using my dreg cans when they could have been taking drugs and nicking stuff… they probably did that afterwards but that’s not the point.

#respect, ladies! So, if you could pick another artist in the world you would LOVE to work/collaborate with, who will that lucky person be? Why?

There are so many and we need to collaborate more! Etam Cru, because they are truly genius and we love their work. We would also love to work with Pichi&Avo (@pichiavo) who we had the pleasure of meeting at Cities of Hope, really down to earth guys that have exploded (and rightfully so) and are travelling everywhere to paint, it would be interesting to see how other duo’s work together!

I mean, pass the beer over here right now! Photos by: http://www.facebook.com/tomjoyphotography • Instagram/Twitter: @tomjoyphoto
I mean, pass the beer over here right now! Photo by: Tom Joy • Instagram/Twitter: @tomjoyphoto
Good things come in pairs, don’t they? So lastly, please share with us some upcoming projects we could look forward to!

We are working closely with one of our sponsors, Northern Monk Brewery for their patrons project’s which bring together various creatives and independent companies to produce limited runs of craft beer. We have just released a print of our latest collab with them and Against the Grain (Louisiana!). It is a 10% Imperial whisky smoked honey porter called ‘Smokin Bee’s’! You can find the can in any good craft beer/real ale joint across Europe which is very exciting and we LOVE beer! We are working on another exciting one with Northern Monk & ATG at the moment but its a secret right now!

We have just done an interesting project with Journeys Festival who celebrate and highlight the extraordinary and powerful artwork, music, creativity, culture and experiences that refugee artists bring to the UK. We painted a large landscapes of the Calais ‘Jungle’ refugee camp on a shipping container that was placed in the shopping district of Manchester. The artwork reflected the camp after half of it was bulldozed earlier this year – a stark contrast to the bustling consumerism in the city. We are in talks with Journeys Fest with a view to working with them on another project next year.

There are a few big walls in the pipeline, one has just been confirmed for Leeds, UK in the next month, the others are on hold for next year in better weather. We are set to be working with Urban Forms in Poland which will be a dream come true as well as a bunch of festivals abroad, we are hoping to travel more!

 

 

 


Well, that’s it from the duo Nomad Clan. Stickerbomb team wishes them the best for the rest of 2016 – keep on doing sick stuff, and stay true to your values as artists!

Do let us what you’ll like to see on Stickerbomb (@bombstagram). Bye Inktober, hello November!

(Cover Image Courtesy of Street Art Atlas and Nomad Clan)

Stickerbomb

STICKERBOMB believes in providing artists, illustrators and muralists with a platform for showcasing their work to a global audience. A brainchild of Studio Rarekind, a creative workshop with an established presence in London, Bangkok and Singapore, Stickerbomb curates artwork in its popular sticker book collectable series, raved about by a worldwide following. Today, Stickerbomb stays true to a vision of building a community of emerging artists, by giving fans a daily dosage of contemporary art and street culture.