Northern artists Pete Obsolete and Nomad Clan have designed some funky labels for a vino campaign with a difference

Award-winning wine company Most Wanted Wines is celebrating diversity, equality, and inclusivity with a stash of booze customised by some of the UK’s most exciting contemporary artists. 

Art and wine? Sign us up.

Trying to break down the stereotypes within the creative industry - it was definitely a project that we wanted to get involved in

A collective consisting of five unique artists, two of which are Manchester-based, the campaign is combining quality tipples with stand-out talent to celebrate inclusivity and variety in the arts and alcohol industries. Each artist was given a bottle wrap to use as “a blank canvas to express themselves freely”. 

Confidentials spoke with illustrator and MC Pete Obsolete, and street-art duo Nomad Clan about their Most Wanted contributions, the inspo behind each label design, and what the campaign means to the Northern contemporary creatives.

Pete Obsolete Most Wanted Wines Collaboration
Pete got to merge his love for contemporary art with his love of Malbec Image: Most Wanted Wines

Malbec and MCing

Chatting to Pete Obsolete over the phone as he stood on a side street in the NQ, it became quite clear that contemporary art and red wine are definitely his "thing". As an illustrator, art director, and MC, the man’s talents range from Hacienda-themed wall murals in Whalley Range pubs, to live music events and, well, wine labels.

When asked whether he was able to choose his favourite Most Wanted scoop for his Olive Eye bottle wrap, Pete was quick to assure me that the choice was obvious: “I love their Malbec and have done since day one, they’ve sorted me a bottle or two out over the last couple of years.”

Other wines in the collection include Most Wanted Cabernet Sauvignon (designed by Nomad Clan), Most Wanted Chardonnay, Most Wanted Pinot Grigio, and Most Wanted Shiraz. The three other UK-based artists involved in the campaign are London-based street artist Jelly J, fine art painter Chris Hawkes, and the illustrator behind Dorcas Creates, Dorcas Magbadelo.

Most Wanted Wines Pete Obsolete Olive Eye Bottle Wrap Design
Pete was more than willing to go all "art wanker" on us Image: Most Wanted Wines

But what does it all mean?

Discussing the meaning behind his eye-catching label design, Pete talks about his interests in English woodland camouflage and the eye as a symbol of knowledge: “If you want me to go all art wanker on it, the gold is the light of being illuminated and the eye is a symbol of knowledge. Having an illuminated eye represents the acquisition of, and the use of, knowledge. It’s about being able to see through a different eye or a different lens and having a different vision of the world.”

This isn’t Pete’s first rodeo with the Most Wanted merchants as the artist has worked with them to create t-shirts, hoodies, and a ghetto blaster bar, referring to them as his “lifetime collaborator.”

Most Wanted Wines Nomad Clan Collaboration
Nomad Clan are challenging creative stereotypes one project at a time Image: Most Wanted Wines

You must be No-mad

Another Northern talent featured within the Most Wanted campaign is Nomad Clan, the queer duo behind some of the Northern Quarter’s most iconic murals and street art pieces.

Joking that they aren’t exactly winos, the pair explain that they rarely work with external brands. However, in this instance, “Once Most Wanted had spoken to us about what the project was about, and how it was trying to break down the stereotypes within the creative industry, it was definitely a project that we wanted to get involved in.”

Most Wanted Wines Nomad Clan Bottle Wrap Design
Rosevill, Michigan resonates as the main inspo for this Nomad Clan design Image: Most Wanted Wines

Turning water crises into wine

As a pair, Nomad Clan’s work is mainly influenced by socio-economic issues, local history, and the demise of industry. Their Most Wanted bottle wrap, therefore, reflects the time that they spent in Roseville, Michigan, during a three-month tour of the United States.

The water crisis that the city was experiencing at the time influenced the pair's design for the Cabernet Sauvignon label as an abandoned house can be seen floating ahead of a burning sunset, some street-art-style shapes and patterns surrounding the label’s central design.

Nomad Clan Northern Quarter Street Art Mural
Nomad Clan are also behind some of the NQ's most iconic street art Image: Nomad Clan

Comparing their role as large-scale street artists to this Most Wanted commission, the pair mention that “not many people have the opportunity to actually put a message out there that gets seen by a lot of people, and this was another chance for us to get a message out there to the public”. Seeing their work on “something as mainstream as a bottle of wine” is a “really cool concept” for them, as if several major building-sized murals aren’t cool enough.

Most Wanted Wines Artist Collaboration All Artists
The whole bunch have commended Most Wanted for investing in their art Image: Most Wanted Wines

Power to the people

The central ethos of the entire Most Wanted campaign revolves around the diversity and unique talent of each individual artist, and each bottle features a QR code that links to a short film about the makers themselves.

As Rachel Archer, Most Wanted Wines’ Marketing Director comments “We are giving these artists a platform to freely tell their story on our labels - without labels.” Pete Obsolete commends the brand for giving him complete artistic freedom and being truly invested in him as a person, Nomad Clan reciprocate this as they praise Most Wanted for giving consumers a backstory and an insight into the personalities behind each piece.

Most Wanted Wines Manchester Artist Collaboration
The whole collection is ready for a tipsy dinner whenever you are Image: Most Wanted Wines

Just let me buy some already

The five bottles featured in the Most Wanted Wines campaign are now available to buy from selected stockists, and limited editions prints of each artwork can be purchased from indie art platform We Built This City. 

For more info on the other artists featured in the diversity and inclusion campaign, head over to the Most Wanted collective page and have a scroll through the clips and vids, with a glass of red in hand, obviously. 

Follow Ellie-Jo on Twitter & Instagram: @elliejoj

Header image: Most Wanted Wines

Read next: Arts, theatre, gigs: Manchester's cultural calendar for 2022

Read again: Top things to do in Greater Manchester: Feb 2022

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