Object..., The Bearpit, Bristol, April 2018

2902. The Bearpit (186)

This prophetic piece by Object… in The Bearpit was a protest and exposure of Bristol City’s determination to shut down the space and clear it of all ‘undesirable’ activity and make it a safe, clinical space. Object… quotes from Tom Flemming a creative consultant for Bristol City Council:

…it will also be vital to champion the messy, the marginal and the avante garde, where imagination drives the city of the future.

The Council shut The Bearpit down, expelled the homeless people (some of whom I note have returned), removed skateboarding and buffed all the walls with anti-graffiti paint. The space is now sterile (and indeed safer), but street art and graffiti were not contributing to a lack of safety, but perceptions seemed to rule the Council decision making. A council, I would add, that celebrates its association with Banksy. Some muddled thinking here.

Object..., The Bearpit, Bristol, April 2018
Object…, The Bearpit, Bristol, April 2018

Object…’s piece once again features a contorted and strangely proportioned figure propping up the rights of the overlooked, the messy, marginal and avante garde mentioned above. He is a true champion and I salute him.


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I am Stephen. I live in Bristol, UK. I decided to shorten my profile...to this: Wildlife, haiku, travel, streetart, psychogeography and my family. Not necessarily in that order.

7 thoughts on “2902. The Bearpit (186)”

  1. So is all of this art gone now? Sad. I think I can see why it made the council nervous, even though it states the truth.
    I’m wondering about street art – do the artists have to have permission to paint or are there certain areas allotted? If not it seems like a pretty fleeting form of self-expression.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, lots of questions and no straightforward answers. In its simplest form there are three levels of street/graffiti art.
      1. Illegal, this is the riskiest, but the edginess is part of the experience. Some authorities may turn a blind eye.
      2. Permission, this is where the owner of the wall gives permission for the artist to paint.
      3. Commission, this is where the artist is paid to paint, perhaps a shop front or a house.

      The Bearpit fell into a category somewhere between 1 and 2.


    1. It has been a real shame. The problem was homelessness and drug/alcohol dependence, the Council could have addressed these issues without banning the street art. Broad-brush sledgehammer to crack a nut approach.

      Liked by 1 person

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