They were born the same year and on the same day (May 16, 1986). One in Valladolidthe other in Madrid. They led parallel lives without knowing it, exploring the 1,000 paths of art. And they ended up converging in London, giving liveliness and color to its wallsshaking the spray at the same time and leaving its permanent mark in the open air.
Elno (Elena González Nieto) y Bear (Lourdes Gonzalo Martínez) are the co-founders of the WOM Collective, the great sisterhood of street artists in London. The spark arose in 2019 due to the need to empower women, reclaim urban spaces and claim “the healing power of art”…
“It’s not easy here either, but in Spain they put more obstacles in front of you and everything is slower,” he emphasizes. Elno while participating with other colleagues in a community event in Celebration avenue, including the live mural by WOM artists. “We started with 15 and there are now about 50. Spanish, English, French, Polish, one Persian, another from Georgia… We are a very international group and very diverse in styles.”
The gender gap in street art has been very noticeable for decades, but distances are shortening and rivalries are falling, as we could see a few months ago in the graffiti jam mixed in Allen Gardens. The collaboration and sense of fraternity that unites street artists is even stronger among women… “In our network we do not see each other as rivals, but rather we share experiences, we inspire each other and we make our way” .
By popular vote, the WOM girls have just achieved a artistic residency at Fusebox, in Kingston, hand in hand with Creative Youth and in a space where they hope to experiment and “connect” with young people. Elno She has been focused on the therapeutic and social dimension of art for some time with her work in workshops in schools, charities and community centers like the one in Stockwell… “Spray has a special pull for preteens, who are attracted by movement, instantaneity, the possibility of quickly correcting a mistake that you don’t have with the brush.”