Each year in August there is an event held in Dean Lane skate park called DLH, or Dean Lane Hardcore. It is a fairly crazy affair with skaters, wild music and a lot of booze. Before the event, streetartists come down and do a bit of decorating on the ramps and walls, which ends up looking pretty good on the videos.
For at least the last two years, and probably longer than that, Feek has taken on the large ramp at the bottom of the park and given it an extreme makeover. I made it to Dean Lane while he was working on the piece, but he disappeared and I never got to meet him which is a pity.
The monster glaring out of the ramp is brilliantly done and suits the event perfectly his previous years piece was not dissimilar. All good work. Unfortunately, I think this year’s DLH was a bit of a wash out…you can’t skate in the rain.
A stalwart of Upfest and the Bristol street art scene is the wonderful Georgie (Artist). This year’s piece is a stunning portrait of a child, and something rather different from her smiley face stencil work of last year.
Georgie has an incredible range of styles and techniques that she uses to decorate the city and is a most gifted artist who not only executes her pieces well, but also has a wonderfully creative mind. Her pieces rarely disappoint.
It is a funny thing, but I missed a lot of artists this year. I think it might be because the weather was so ‘stop and start’ that artists tried to get as much done when the sun was out, and then ran for cover or went home when the rain came. Or…maybe they just saw me coming!
Oooh! a stunning wildstyle burner from the Bristol graffiti writer Subtle. I am lucky enough to find his work dotted around the city from time to time and he is right up there with the best writers Bristol has to offer (and there are a lot of them).
This is a very tidy piece, clean and with some lovely colour choices, which are set off perfectly by the grey background. I wish I could tell you more about Subtle, but thus far I have never met him, and there is not a lot of information knocking about on the Interweb either. He has an Instagram account that will give you some idea of his work. Really nice piece.
This piece has been a little bit of a puzzle for me, probably because my grasp of contemporary culture falls a little short from time to time. The work is by Fetch, who started out as a stencil artist a few years back, and his half-brother Leeks78.
The piece depicts a character from the graphic novel ‘Happy’ by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson. The story has now been made into a TV series first aired on the Syfy channel – I might just have to go and check it out.
The piece appears to be a faithful reproduction of the imaginary unicorn character from the series. I wish I had known all of this when I first saw the piece, as the context might have allowed me to enjoy it more than I did at the time.
This week I offer you another little gallery of doors from a recent trip to Umbria Italy. This set of doors are from a small hilltop town called Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, nestled between Arezzo to the west and Citta di Castello to the east.
We used to visit this area quite frequently in the 1980s and 1990s and I recall the town forever playing host to a couple of large cranes. These were lovingly (and slowly) restoring the whole town and some of its buildings. The cranes have gone now, thank goodness.
Some doors are the originals, but you might notice that the feature image, for example, is a faithful reproduction. I love the way this little town has retained its heritage without giving in to the trappings of modern urbanisation (apart from the rather unnecessarily ugly interpretation board below).
Many of you will now that I am a big fan of the work of Jee See (Goshiku Chavu) and have featured his work many times on this blog. It is not only his raw and passionate artwork that I like but the honesty and integrity of the artist himself, and the rich life experiences he has had. His journey into street art has been an interesting one and it is probably all the better for it.
For Upfest Jee See produced this rather haunting piece ‘escape airstrip one – 1984 is not fiction’ – a politically charged piece. I have just noticed a rather annoying balloon string hanging right across the photograph, obscuring it a little. Grrr. At the base of the hooded character Jee See offers his trademark ‘seismic’ tag, always a winner in my book. My only regret about this piece is that by the time I got to it, he had left North Street Green and I didn’t get a chance to hook up with him. Maybe another time.
It comes as absolutely no surprise at all to see Nol entering into the spirit of the theme for this year’s Upfest with a wonderful Simpsons piece depicting Sideshow Bob with a touch of Nol monsterising. Brilliant.
Nol managed to keep himself busy at the festival, with this being one of three pieces I know about. His work is always bright and colourful and so full of humour and joy. In a troubled world it is great to be able to walk past something like this and cheer…it is not all bad.