Inspired by the role and importance of football, citizens of Leeds and visitors to the city have since been able to enjoy Jiem’s murals; emblazoning the city’s walls with the strong, and well known, messages “Marching On Together” and ‘United We Stand’. Leaving his mark in more ways than one, he has since returned to Leeds with his partner, Mary Limonade as the duo, Wanderlust.
This exhibition, United We Stand, is the first for East Street Arts’ newest project space; 130 Vicar Lane. It features silkscreen prints created by the duo in response to the communities and culture that exist around the beautiful game.
“We enjoyed so much our stay in Leeds… this is the kind of perfect place for us, because of the city and because of the people. Everything is possible!” Jiem, EX[S]PORTS, Feb 2016.
Jiem was born in 1981 in Nantes, France, where he began to tag the walls as a self-taught teenager. The 1990’s proved good times for Nantes football, meaning that Jiem discovered the Nantes FC home stand, which he continues to attend with a bunch of good friends.
Jiem’s work is really varied: Graffiti, murals, sign painting, drawing, painting, but also textiles, self publishing, installations, photography and video. From his first tags on the street almost 20 years ago, these practices have gradually integrated into the broad scope of the artist, exploring, in their own way, a certain idea of urban and marginal adventure.
Mary Limonade comes from Liège, Belgium, where she was born in 1985. She grew up close to the Sclessin stadium, the home ground of the Standard; a mythical club in Wallonia. Her interest in the stadiums and their architecture is certainly intertwined with childhood memories of “the hell of Sclessin”. In Belgium, or England preferably, she likes to take “stadium portraits” through photography or drawing, focusing on the structures, rows of seats and other patterns as well as surrounding streets and neighbourhoods.
EX[S]PORTS is a partnership project funded by Creative Europe that will explore the relations between arts and sports sectors during 21 months of projects, events and residencies linking practitioners and audiences throughout three countries: UK, France and Belgium.
EX[S]PORTS partnership is driven forward by East Street Arts (Leeds, UK), L’Entorse (Lille, FR) and Vooruit (Ghent, BE). Across each of the three countries, a gap separating the world of art and sport has been identified and, by excluding each other, these two spheres miss out on mutual improvement. EX[S]PORTS partnership aspires to put an end to this divide, and demonstrate the relevance and efficiency of creating bridges between arts and sports.
Projects also commissioned as part of EX[S]PORTS are:
Invisible Flock: 105+Db
Ben Mills: Domicile
Lucy Carolan & Richard Glynn: Mutascope