Kazakh-Canadian artist Ola Volo is known for her stunning murals, incorporating themes from Eastern European folk art with a focus on pattern and narrative. Her work often depicts fantasy scenes, bringing together animals, people, architecture, and nature to articulate diverse stories rich with symbolism and elaborate forms.
Her work also lends itself often to the public realm with many of her murals helping to shape and beautify outdoor spaces across the world. But she also creates commissions for a wide range of international clients including Starbucks, Louis Vuitton, Lululemon, Simons, and Honda.
“My perspective is murals can bring energy to a space,” she said in an interview with The Georgia Straight. “It wasn’t till I got the opportunity to do a mural that I got to transform a space, and I got hooked! I loved that it was an idea that could be interpreted and reinterpreted every day by people.”
Her work has included neighborhood murals and corporate commissioned work in Vancouver, the Mackey Building in Sudbury as part of 2016 Up Here Festival, and “Walla Volo” in Montreal’s Mile End neighborhood, the largest mural in Canada painted by a woman.
According to Volo, we are a little bit deprived of accessible public art. Her murals are therefor a “sort of a way to reclaim our city’s energy and perspective and all these blank walls.” “Making work accessible: that’s why I love illustration,” she added. “I’m able to communicate a message that can be read without language barriers. And in some ways I think public art can be responsible for that too.”
Follow her Instagram page for more.