O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire has today unveiled a brand-new look, with artwork provided by local artist Leopard’s Lunch and inspired by an exclusive poem from critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter Arlo Parks, who grew up in the area.
The venue originally benefitted from an entirely new look and feel in 2020 as part of O2’s national This Is Just An Interval campaign and now with March 2021 marking Women’s History Month, O2 has partnered with two of London’s most exciting female talents to reinvigorate the iconic music hotspot. As music fans across the country eagerly await the returning buzz of experiencing live shows once again, the new artwork serves as a celebration of the power of women, their capacity for love and expression.
Arlo Parks said: “O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire is a venue that’s close to my heart and my house. I saw my first ever live show there when I was 16 years old and there was something so energising and inspiring about that gig which led me to pursue music. I wanted to use my platform and artistry to support women and highlight the irreplaceable role they have to play in not just the arts but the world in general. The visual arts, painting and poetry have always been important to me so this felt like a positive and very culturally relevant project to be part of. Sunflowers to me are a symbol of growth, healing and finding light in dark times and I wanted to pay homage to the women that have, and continue to, inspire me as a woman and an artist through this strange year.”
O2, in collaboration with Blank Walls, identified Kate Philipson, AKA Leopard’s Lunch, an artist known for her bold and colourful, comic book and pop art-inspired style, for the new artwork seen on O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. This latest piece is designed to bring the feeling of live music to the venue while celebrating women, with an image of Arlo Parks singing her poem surrounded by beams of light and sunflowers, bringing a sense of joy, loyalty and longevity to the artwork.
“I’m lucky enough to have both worked and attended many gigs at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire over the years,” said Leopard’s Lunch. “It’s a great venue for live music, there is so much history in that building and the fact I’ve been able to see it from both behind the scenes and as a music fan makes having had the privilege of painting it extra special. Celebrating women is everything to me. I believe true beauty comes from strength, character and empowerment, which is something I aim to capture every time I paint, depicting women as the incredible, multi-faceted, strong, talented, creative beings that they are.”
Nuala Donnelly, Head of Music at O2, said: “We are incredibly proud to be partnering with two London-based, up-and-coming female artists to reinvigorate O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in celebration of Women’s History Month. This is a hugely important moment in the calendar and, this year more than ever, feels like a significant opportunity to remind ourselves how strong, inspiring, diverse, unique, creative and fierce women can be. As we edge closer to the return of live music, we wanted to acknowledge how difficult this extended break for our venues has been and show our appreciation for music fans until we’re all able to enjoy a gig together again.”
O2 has been the proud sponsor of Academy Music Group venues since 2009, championing live music and helping fans get closer to the action via priority tickets, giving O2 customers access to tickets up to 48 hours in advance. For more information visit http://priority.o2.co.uk/tickets