This extraordinary piece by Nomad Clan is just sensational and very probably my favourite from Upfest 2017. I have visited this wall many times, both during its creation and since, but have failed so far to get a clean shot of it withoug something in the way. I will keep trying.
Nomad Clan are a phenomenally talented duo, of CBLOXX and AYLO bosed in Manchester. They tend to work on large murals and have painted some of the largest murals in England.
The subject matter of the piece is captivating, and there is some deliberate reflection between the octopus and the old fisherman. Both are painted with tenderness and delicacy, and they have created a story, a dialogue between these two characters. Very powerful stuff.
I stopped for a chat with the artists on the Friday before Upfest…they had started a bit early, which given the weather over the weekend, was probably a wise decision… and they were happy to take a bit of time out to talk, particularly AYLO who was very smiley and chatty.
I have not seen any of their work in the flesh before, but was really so impressed with this piece. It oozes class and competence and absolutely stands out.
The close ups of the two characters may give you a feel for what I mean, and take a good look at the fishing boat tattoo on the fishenman’s head, brilliant attention to detail.
This is a different kind of piece for upfest, by Bristol-based Italian-English illustrator Lisa Rose. In her website biography, she says the following: Inspired by a million things but especially femme experiences and bodies, sexuality, and empowerment. It says it all really. Her website illustrations are very interesting and worth a look.
It is an unusual piece for a street art festival and represents the crossover between design/illustration and street work. Her strong lines and solid fill make this piece appear to be almost like a digital creation. This piece with the third eye is similar to one on her website and I would guess it a theme she explores. I didn’t get a chance to see her at the festival, but will look out for her if she is there in 2018.
Maldito Mono is a street artist originally from the Canary Islands but who is now living in London in search of new experiences and to expand his work. His piece for Upfest is a bright and colourful bat with a bucket hat. Of course, the bat is holding a spray can, the tool of the trade.
What is interesting to me about this piece is the eyes – they are vacant, and at first I wondered if the piece was complete, but the subtle shading in the eyes suggests that they are meant to be like this. I guess bats are blind, so this might be a nod to that. A nice piece.
A pairing that I have seen a number of times over the last couple of years is that of Laic217 and Cort. An interesting aspect of this is that while I have seen numerous solo Laic217 pieces, I can’t recall ever seeing solo Cort work, but maybe I’m just not seeing them.
This is the first piece to cover over the amazing work of Apset and Ionas from Upfest in July this year. To be honest, I am amazed it has taken so long, but finally the piece had been dogged and then covered over by this new collaboration. We see in this piece the familiar skeleton work of Laic217, this time in a monochrome red with purple accent.
The Cort writing is great to look at and plays with a few styles and techniques. All in all this is a nice collaboration, but one which I expect to be far shorted lived than it’s predecessor.
I have known about this spot for a long while, but not managed to get out to it until recently. It is on a concrete wall which supports one of the main road bridges over the River Avon. The wall, on the south bank, is ideal for spraying, but a little less than ideal for photographing, due to poor light and reflections. I tried my best.
This interesting piece by Inkie is a middle section to an ASK crew Halloween collaboration. There is one part about this that I am not sure about. The character in the middle is quite unlike anything I have seen from Inkie before and at first, my suspicion was that it is by somebody else, but the more I look at it, the more I think it is Inkie’s work. The hair in particular is in the style that he uses for his other pieces.
The writing is, as you would expect to see from Inkie, immaculate, and the piece as a whole something slightly out of the ordinary. More from this wall to follow soon.
This wall in the famous Wilder Street is beautifully curated by Where the Wall and never seems to get tagged, this is probably down to the high quality of the collaborations that get permission to spray here. It is a little bit more like an outdoor gallery than graffiti wall.
Set on a nicely prepped red brick colour, this wonderful collaboration from three members of the ASK crew, Epok, Sepr and Deamze is a graffiti/street art feast. First up is a lovely clean angular piece of wildstyle writing, so typical of Epok. His work rarely fits the ‘rectangular’ boundaries that most writers work to, with his work often smaller at one end than the other.
Next up is the recently invigorated Sepr, who until recently has been relatively quiet on the streets, but of late has become quite busy, which is a great thing for all of us. Sepr has a great ability to tell stories through his cartoonesque work.
In this piece Sepr shows, by way of a thought bubble, that the karate protagonist is using his concentration to break a plank of wood – his mind is on a tree hugging his wife/partner – he is focusing his jealousy and rage into kinetic energy…or something like that.
The third part of this collaboration is yet another clean and tidy piece of wildstyle writing from Deamze, once again without a character. The balance of the three pieces is perfect, and the colour selections easy on the eye and complementary. A really great wall, well worth a gander.