It is a funny thing, but I have always been quite nonchalant about Banksy. I love his art, I love it that he comes from Bristol but I tend to stand up for all the other artists whose work is extraordinary and who are not Banksy. However, even I got caught up in the frenzy of excitement that surrounded his visit to Bristol last Wednesday night/Thursday morning.
It is not often the artist comes back to his home city, so it always feels rather special when he does. The other thing about his work is that you have to get there quick to see it, because there are some crazy people who try to vandalise his stuff, particularly in Bristol – who knows why. And guess what, since I wrote the last sentence two days ago, an idiot has indeed vandalised the piece with some rather nasty message over the stencil girl.
These pictures are a little bit low-res, I have obviously kept the high res versions in my archive, to avoid copyright theft – something I rarely do. So sorry about the quality. The piece itself features a girl in a hoodie firing a catapult of beautiful red flowers. Is this a love message to Bristol?
The location of the piece is significant, because it is just around the corner that Banksy learned to spray paint under the watchful eye of John Nation, a youth club worker at Barton Hill youth club. John is the godfather of Bristol street art, and what he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing about.
There was a constant stream of people gathering at the wall when I made it down there on Friday, and it was great to witness their sense of awe that something special had happened here and that they were able to share in it. I couldn’t resist photographing this gentleman with his motorbike, he said the selfie was for his motor club which I thought was very sweet.
You can get a sense of the flow of people from the final picture. The nice fellow in the yellow check shirt had come over from Swansea just to see this wall. I bet they are all glad that they did when they did knowing that it has now been vandalised.
A special day for a hunter and a special day for Bristol.