Ola Volo

Urban Tales

March 2017 - April 2017



Ola Volo is a Canadian illustrator from Kazakhstan with a distinctive style drawn from history, multiculturalism and folklore.

Artist Statement

“My piece, titled ‘Urban Tales’, is filled with the different things I learned and stories I heard during my residency. Throughout this experience, I started to look at buildings differently; they became characters with personalities to me and so I illustrated them this way.

I wanted to represent and celebrate both the female and male perspective because hcma has an almost equal gender split. Other concepts that influenced my work were the notion of designing buildings for a future that is unknown, my realization that buildings exist because of the people that inhabit them, and the reality that nature and the elements also have an influence on a building’s design.

I originally intended for the piece to be architectural, strict and typographic but as my concept developed it became more fluid. There is a lot of storytelling in architecture and I wanted to capture the organic way people move around buildings. My biggest takeaway from the residency has been the development of my work in a 3D architectural space. The piece gradually expanded across the studio walls, becoming an installation piece and much more than a 2D mural. I love the way it wraps around the TILT Gallery, covering every side and angle, pulling the viewer deeper into the story.”

Detail photo of the finished mural in the hcma Vancouver office lobby. Ola Volo working on a detail of her mural in the hcma Vancouver office lobby. Ola Volo sitting on a bench looking at her finished mural in the hcma Vancouver office lobby.

"It was a pleasure to do an art residency for TILT at hcma. I've had an incredible insight on the world of architecture and the beautiful people behind the craft"

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