local artist brings the first art basketball court to brighton
If like us, you’ve spent the summer eating ice-cream, enjoying seafront strolls and getting comfy hanging out at one of the city’s best terraces (yes, we’re talking Patterns), then it’s likely you’ve seen some of Lois O’Hara’s gorgeous artwork. But, the Brighton born and bred twenty-three year old’s most recent work is what has really caught our eye, bringing the UK’s first art basketball court to the city. And wow, does it look good.
Creating a whirlwind of colour since graduating from university in Bournemouth last year, we found out that Lois is a prime example of how to turn frustration in freedom when we spoke to her about her brightly coloured journey so far. “When I graduated from uni I was so frustrated that I didn’t get taught anything relevant in the art and design industry, so I worked hard at building a strong portfolio of my own, pitching ideas and painting a few murals for free just to start getting my name out there, even though I believe artists should always be paid for their time,” she said.
The proof was in the brightly coloured paint, as Patterns were soon in touch to work with Lois on their first collaboration, “Patterns was a great kickstart to my creative career. I painted a mural for their Peach Party series [which launched in February this year] and from that, they knew I would be the perfect person to design the terrace. Both our branding and style is quite similar, it’s crazy really! It was meant to be.” We’d certainly agree, as it’s easy to feel like you’re in paradise if you’re sat on the terrace watching the sunset.
Lois’ work may not have always been as large-scale as it has been recently (you may have seen her exhibitions at ONCA, Pop-up Brighton and Cafe Plenty), it’s always had a positive message. She told BOTI that her logo “symbolises the movement of time, fluidity and memories being captured. This is the most important part of my visual identity. I like my shapes to flow naturally.” If you take a scroll through her Instagram feed, you’ll see this is exactly what she’s always done with her work. “I decided that as my work is so colourful and vibrant, it would have a bigger impact on others if it was larger in scale. I like the idea of my colours engulfing others and for them to experience this positive feeling as well as holding it.”
Her latest project in Brighton’s Saunders Park most certainly does that. If you haven’t had the chance to visit it, jump on the number 25 bus out of town and go and shoot some hoops. Or just stop and stare at the colours, as they are guaranteed to bring you a slice of exactly what’s painted onto the centre of the court – joy. Lois went on to tell us how the year-long project came about, “I have designed and painted the UK’s first ever giant art court. It was exhausting but feels great to see it there in all its glory. It took a year to plan as I had to get permission from the council and all the councillors. They are all very supportive of the project! Valspar Paint and Basketball England sponsored the project and it took ten days to complete. I had to work hard to make the project happen, stay persistent and luckily Project Backboard [who do similar projects] gave me loads of great advice!” The court came to life at the official launch yesterday, Sunday 16th September, when Veniceball brought some dunkers down from LA to show off their skills in their first 3 x 3 tournament, along with three coach loads of players that travelled down with Basketball England. A pretty good turn out then!
Until then, Lois tells us she’s got her eye on a few potential hotels and pubs in Brighton & Hove to paint, so watch this space! With such a positive approach to her work and life, we wanted to know what music she listens to while she works, so we can get a bit Monday motivation, too… “I listen to the likes of Drake, Tory Lanez and Nav because I love this genre of music and all they sing about is success! I find it so motivating, how they went from nothing to something.” Well said, Lois, we feel the same about you.