Try to look beyond

the abrasive covering;

elegance concealed.


by Scooj


1729. Jamaica Street (16)

Well this came as a bit of a surprise and something of a treat too. On my walk in to work a couple of weeks back, I thought I’d take a small detour down Jamaica Street, and there, big as you like, was this wonderful collaboration between Bristol’s Cheba and Lebanese calligraphy artist Ghaleb Hawila.

Cheba and Ghaleb Hawila, Jamaica Street, Bristol, August 2018
Cheba and Ghaleb Hawila, Jamaica Street, Bristol, August 2018

This kind of collaboration is quite unusual in Bristol, and I am not certain I have seen any calligraphy here before, although I have seen plenty in London. Additionally, this wall is an absolute bugger to photograph because it sits in a gated courtyard and the angles are all wrong…this is the best I could do.

Cheba has painted a silhouette clutching some bright object that is sending out shards of light. The silhouetted figure is filled decorated with Cheba’s trademark cosmic space scenery, which gives it some depth.

Ghaleb Hawila said this on his Instagram feed about the collaboration:

“You gotta believe in yourself; in the lights buried within you. Give yourself the permission to glow and grow.” A collaboration with my brother @cheba_bristol his magnificent work and personality. That’s exactly one year after meeting this crazy guy in Alay, Lebanon during the @ahlafawda and @risegallery cultural exchange.
I spent four days at his beautiful house, with his hyper dog and lovely wife. We explored a lot in his studio and i just can’t sum the experience with words. It was an intensive restless art residency were you get to explore yourself more and more.

It is great to get a bit of insight into how these things are achieved. A wonderwall.



1728. M32 roundabout J3 (94)

There is one circumstance in which is is absolutely ok to buff over someone’s work, and that is when it is your own.Here is an example of just that where Soker has painted over one of his own pieces, and if you look closely, you can see the similar shape of the letter ‘R’ in both.

Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018
Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018

Wildstyle writing (graffiti writing) is an incredible artform in its own right, and I am a big fan of it. That has not always been the case. In the early days of photographing street art, I simply didn’t get it and considered it inferior and messy. Having studied it for close on four years now, I am able to enjoy it just as much as conventional street art. Soker of course is the master of this form.

1727. M32 roundabout J3 (93)

Face 1st (F1st) is the master of getting his work squeezed into just about every corner of Bristol. At any one time, the M32 roundabout must play host to four or five of his pieces, which is pretty impressive really. I would hate to see his monthly spend on spray cans.

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018

This is a return to his more ‘traditional’ style of a pretty face incorporated into some beautifully decorated letters which usually spell out FACE, but in this instance I’m not sure about that. It is always great to see work by one of my absolute favourite Bristol artists.

1726. Upper York Street (13)

Whenever qWeRT comes to town there is always an exciting trail of wheatpastes hidden in the back streets of Bristol. I am constantly on a quest to find them, but know there are some I will never find.

qWeRT, Upper York Street, Bristol, August 2018
qWeRT, Upper York Street, Bristol, August 2018

This one is on the pillar of a car park, which adjoins a former church and so is entirely appropriate to its environs. Jesus is rarely depicted in street art, which is peculiar in a way, because in years gone by he has been the subject of countless murals, inside and outside. This is a wonderful piece…a googly eyed Jesus – not something you see every day.