July 12th, 2012
All-girl art duo Good Wives & Warriors have come a long way from the Glaswegian student halls where they first met. Now, they’re doing paintings in Sao Paolo and are launching a campaign with Swarovski, Iconic London. Wonderland gets the goss from the two in Berlin.
How did you two meet?
We met in 2001 at Glasgow School of Art and we were both studying Painting. After we graduated, we started doing collaborative paintings and we’ve been doing them ever since – for the last seven years!
What were your first impressions of each other at uni?
We were 18 and it was our first experience away from home, so we were complete idiots, probably. Louise’s first impression of Becky was her standing in the doorway in student halls, shouting at everyone: “We’re having a party! EVERYONE HAS TO COME!” And Becky used to invite Louise round hers for lunch and make her really bad cup-a-soups.
Why the name Good Wives & Warriors?
It’s actually to do with the etymology of our names. Rebecca is from the Hebrew ‘to be bound to one’s husband’ – AKA a good wife – and Louise stems from Louis, meaning ‘famous warrior’. We liked the perceived contradiction of the name and it suits the process of working creatively – you often have to be tenacious and fight to gets things done, but work also requires nurture.
What’s the creative process like with two people involved?
With our large-scale works it is physically easy for us to work on the same painting side by side. The paintings often grow fairly organically so we bounce ideas off each other.
What’s your dream place to paint on location?
Two years ago we were invited to Mexico to paint a huge sculpture garden called the Garden of the Universe, which was going to be the largest wall painting in South America. We went to see the site and where we would be living for 6 months while working on the project. We were so excited, we’d packed up our lives and were ready to leave London. Unfortunately, at the last minute the funding all fell through. We were really gutted, so I suppose this would have been our dream location!
What’s been the highlight of your careers?
We were recently invited to Brazil for two exhibitions in Sao Paulo as part of a cultural festival. This was an incredible experience for us, not only Brazil as a country but being surrounded by other artists and musicians and also doing live paintings in major museums.
Could you tell us a little more about your Iconic London campaign with Swarovski?
During the Olympics, London will be on show to the world and Swarovski wanted the illustration campaign to mark this exciting time for the city. Swarovski wanted us to use iconic and recognisable London features in a stylised and contemporary way, taking the usual stereotypes – the black cab, the phone box and the ravens – but putting them in to a more fashion context. There are obviously some Swarovski crystals in the mix too! Alongside the illustration, their idea is for us to paint live in two of the store windows during the Olympics. We’ll be doing the first painting next week on Regent Street.
What’s next for you two?
We’ve actually just moved to Berlin to work for 6 months as part of a residency. We’re making a book of drawings at the moment, and have a show in London in September.
Good Wives & Warriors will be doing a live painting installations at Swarovski stores across London, beginning with a piece on 16 July at the Regent Street store. Tweet @wonderlandmag with your ideas on what Becky and Louise should paint with the hashtag #IconicLondon and stand to win a Swarovski necklace worth £180.
Words: Zing Tsjeng