Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

614. Anchor Road (2)

Well this is the one really, a very very special piece by Andrew Burns Colwill.

In a modest setting behind the Harbourside shops and restaurants stands a container. Painted on the side of the container is one of the best pieces of free street art in Bristol. It is amazing. I have watched as people shuffle past it without looking and then someone will glance at it and recognise what a magnificent work it is. Certainly one of my favourite pieces in Bristol…ever.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

There is an elaborate story unfolding in this picture. In the middle we have two figures sitting at an hourglass table playing a game of chess. One is a modern/future man, the other on the left looks to be ancient Mayan or something like that clutching a scroll. There are remnants of a bridge behind them one side built of wood the other of stone, representing the eras these two characters come from, maybe.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

Then if we zoom out a little we see more of their surroundings. Above them, floating in the air lifted by balloons with faces, is an island with a city – what it represents I am not sure, but some similar motifs were portrayed in Colwill’s Upfest piece from last year. To the right, the ruined stone bridge can be seen in its full glory, and a bomb shell is sticking out of the ground. To the left the bridge becomes closer to its environmental beginnings…more organic, and there are flowers in the foreground.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

Taking another look to the right we observe evidence of civilisation in the form of a stone city on the hill, married with weapons of destruction.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

Further to the right still, soldiers are emerging from a war torn forest – looking like a scene from the Great War.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

To the left hand side we can see pyramids through the mist in the distance, so maybe the red-robed character is ancient Egyptian. On this side too, there are more figures, tribesmen wielding spears lurk in the trees.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

The whole piece would be a fine addition to any art gallery, but here it is for all to see if only they would look. I believe the picture to be about the struggle between the environment and our close connection to it and the consequences of progress. Now I am no expert and I haven’t had the pleasure of talking to Colwill so my description and conclusion are based on what I see. What do you see? Have you looked?

Advertisements

Published by

scooj

I am Stephen. I live in Bristol, UK. I decided to shorten my profile...to this: Wildlife, haiku, travel, streetart, psychogeography and my family. Not necessarily in that order.

9 thoughts on “614. Anchor Road (2)”

  1. The guy in red is Chinese–that hairstyle is from a particular time period. I know from my time watching dramas in the student canteen in China. The Chinese civilization is supposed to be the oldest. It is interesting that he is sitting on books since the Chinese were more into scrolls. The guy opposite is sitting on a piece of something that is suspended in air. Time definitely running out.

    I love the part in blue–especially with the with the trees. Gorgeous. Ditto to the idea this is fine art outside.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s