I think this is the one, my favourite piece of Upfest 2018. The reason this works so well for me is that I have long admired this wall for all its textures and character and have photographed it before when it had no graffiti at all (I have searched through my pictures, but can’t find the ones I have taken here in the past, which is really annoying).
The artist, Kowse One, is not even mentioned in the Upfest programme, and this certainly isn’t an official wall, but he did work on a fabulous collaboration with Braga Last One ( to come). I think he comes from Marseille, but beyond that I know little of him.
The piece itself is perfect in every way. The use of the rendered part of the wall and its juxtaposition with the bare brickwork, the colours used contrasting so well with the surrounding, the accomplished portrait work and the lettering on the face reflecting some of the tags nearby make this an enchanting and exciting piece. There is some real edge and brilliant improvisation. I love it, I love it.
I really could kick myself sometimes. I never actually got a final picture of this piece by J. Sharples, because I think that I had assumed that I had already got one. The best I have is the feature image of the artist still at work but nearing completion.
The piece is very similar in style and subject to the fabulous work that he created for Upfest 2017. This time there are two gorillas in bold pink and blue colours in a highly stylised form, and splendid they are too. Always great to see work from this artist.
To celebrate 10 years of Upfest (I can’t believe I have only been to three of them) D7606, a wheatpaster and I guess unofficial artist at the festival scattered ten paste up balloons, each with a famous face, high up on the main streets of Bedminster.
These are the first two that I found, one with Twiggy and the other with Elizabeth Taylor. Finding each was like a prize, and the hunt was great fun. I bumped in to D7606 several times over two days and as ever, he was very happy to talk about his work and experiences.
I love the addition of a string to each of the balloons which was loose and able to blow around in the breeze. D7606 told me he had to paste them high up, so that they didn’t get pulled down. Several of them have gone already, but not to trophy hunters, rather, they have been pasted over with new advertisements. These balloons were a worthy addition to the 10th Upfest…hats off to D7606.
Sticking very well to the Simpsons theme of this year’s Upfest was this vibrant piece by Bao, a featured artist for the festival, on one of two prominent walls. I believe this is the first time this particular wall has been used at Upfest, and although a good wall, it is a devil to photograph, being a parking spot for shoppers on North Street.
Bao is from Hong Kong, and she has travelled the world plying her trade. Her pieces are filled from top to bottom in a cartoon style with a ton of detail and little scenes to look at. Here Bart is having some kind of dream maybe, with multiple images of him and of his environment. I love the Simpsons sofa and cat in the centre of the piece. A wonderful work.
I don’t know how many iterations of this camel there have been on this particular wall, but I can think of at least four. Feek seems to be the main driving force, often accompanied by 3Dom, behind this themed wall which has incredible ‘foot fall’ or rather, driver-by viewings.
The wall is something of a landmark known to most north Bristolians as they journey towards the M32. Here the camel, speaking ‘Bristle’, is set on a background of speakers and draped in Rastafarian colours. Altogether brilliant. Below is a previous incarnation of the wall.
Oner has made his mark is Bristol lately with his rather attarctive burners popping up all over the city. This particular one was in St Werburghs tunnel, which is fast becoming a “go to” regular spot for me because the work there seems to be on an improving trajectory.
This burner is nice and clean and brings a bit of light into the tunnel. The black shading is nicely done, but I’m not too sure about the pink decorative squiggles.
A beautiful ‘TES’ from Slim Pickings, this time in the wonderful claret and blue colours that we might associate with Burnley or West Ham. Once again, and as one would expect, the lines are crisp and clean and the fillings solid and neat.
I think this is the last of Slim Picking’s work that I have in my archive, so I rather hope he will be out there at Dean Lane or somewhere else doing his stuff that he does so well.