I thought I’d kick off Upfest 2018 with one of the highlight walls of the festival which speaks volumes to me (a marine biologist by training), and really brightened things up.
One of the less celebrated, but nonetheless special, walls at Upfest is this side street, Mount Pleasant Terrace, just off North Street. Previous occupiers of this wall have been Sokar Uno (2016) and My Dog Sighs and Snub 23 (2017), so it has a great pedigree. This year the mural went big, spreading beyond the first floor and covering the entire end of row wall.
At first glance it might not be obvious that this is a Louis Masai piece, but a closer inspection gives away some of the tell tale signs, such as a patchwork turtle, and of course a signature!
I was pretty spaced out at the festival, absorbing so much visual information but not really seeing things right in front of me – sensory overload if you like. I didn’t take a proper look at the wall until the scaffolding was down a couple of days later and then it hit me, this is a brilliant piece by Louis Masai.
There is so much to look at in this coral reef scene, but of course it comes with an environmental message, and there floating around the reef are a couple of Tesco bags, which once seen can’t be unseen.
I love the way that he entered into the spirit of the Simpsons theme of the festival and presented us with a cartoon mutant fish with three eyes gawkily cruising across the reef. Some serious messages interspersed with a bit of fun. A great piece to start with. Hats off to Louis Masai.