One of the most stunning collaborations of Upfest 2018 was this magnificent piece by Nuno Viegas and Tymon De Laat on the side of the Coopers Arms, where the polar bear piece by Andrew Burns Colwill was painted the year before.
This piece was painted in two halves separated by a horizontal strip, a feature of the wall which was put to good use by the artists. The bottom half which features the gloved hand of the character tossing a spray can fat cap is by Nuno Viegas. The detail in the latex glove with paint on it is simply breathtaking.
The top half of the collaboration is by Tymon De Laat and presents us with one of his superb trademark portraits, where the face is divided up into different shaded areas in a symmetrical pattern almost as if the subject is wearing face paint. This is such a strong design idea and makes his work istantly recognisable.
This was truly one of the best pieces of the whole festival, and if you don’t believe me go down and take a look while you still have a chance and check out the detail.
Emily Joy Rich is a Bristol-based graphic designer and lettering artist. For anyone interested in letters and typeface art, I strongly recommend a quick squiz at her Instagram feed @emilyjoyrich – you will be in for a treat.
This Upfest 2018 piece is a good example of her typeface skills and she has combined them with an uplifting design and some cloudy kind of things. All that was really needed to set this piece off perfectly was a nice sunny day, but these were in short supply during the 2018 festival.
Another look back to Upfest 2018 with this magnificent mural by The London Police. I know little about The London Police and have only seen their work on social media, but is appears that they have been an outfit since 2002, and comprise two central artists with othhers joining and leaving the collective over time. Ther is more about them in their Biography on their website.
I take my hat off to them for tackling this wall, because in my view, this is one of the trickiest walls and most annoying to photograph at Upfest. The best shots are from the roof opposite or from a drone, and guess what, I don’t have one of those.
The design is reasonably simple and clean which makes it easy to look at and enjoy. It is consistent with their work over many years and I believe the character is called LADS who forms the central part of all of their work. A fine piece.
Well I don’t know about you, but I am getting rather excited about the return of Upfest which will be running in Bristol from 29 to 31 May, although some of the premium walls will be painted during the week before the festival, to make sure they are completed when the main pulse of visitors come.
So (I hate anyone who begins sentences with so) just to whet your appetite I thought I’d take a little look back at Upfest 2018 and some pieces I haven’t yet got round to posting, starting with this beauty from Sake One. In the WIP photograph the artist was taking a break with his (I assume) family, which was lovely to see. Quite a lot of artists had their families and children buzzing around which made the whole thing feel a bit more inclusive.
I didn’t get to see the completed piece until some while after the festival, mainly because I think he finished it after I had left. Alas, this is another one of those spots that seems to have a car permanently parked in front of it, so you’ll just have to make do with these pictures. A fabulous piece from a fabulous artist.
What an amazing portrait at Upfest 2018 by artist Michel Velt, which was one of two he painted over the course of the festival. His style is really interesting and it almost looks like a felt tip drawing rather than spray paint.
Looking at the piece I wonder if it was quite finished, because the orange decoration on the right hand side is missing a little bit of black edging. The whole event was so disrupted by the changeable weather that a number of pieces were abandoned or incompete. It doesn’t matter at all wih this, because it is so beautifully presented. A wonderful piece.
Zoe Power has had quite an impact on Natural Adventures recently and this magnificent Upfest 2018 piece reinforces her strong portfolio. I like to call her work mural work as distinct from the broader term street art because although it is street art, it has an element of measure, control and finesse that sets it apart.
I didn’t actually find this long wall at the festival itself, but a few days later when I was patrolling the area loooking for hidden extras and gems and in this piece I certainly found one. Zoe Power’s bold work is striking and captivating and her solid fills keep her work clean and stylised. I know that one of her influences is the French artist Matisse, and you can really see it in her work.
This is quite a difficult wall to present in all its glory because of its length, so I have only posted a couple of key panels, but I think you get a sense of the whole thing. The mural, I assume, is entitled ‘Deeds not words’, so at this point I’ll put a sock in it.
I have always liked Hannah Adamaszek’s murals and have seen a fair few of them over the years in Bristol. Usually portraits of striking women in soft tones, her work is must unlike anything else we commonly see on the streets of Bristol.
It was a pity that this particular piece was tucked away on the wall of a beer garden under a rather grubby canopy that rather exaggerated its yellowness. Also Walls such as this are so difficult to look at and photograph, because of all the people sitting in front of them. This is a fine piece slightly impacted by circumstance. She’ll be back though I’m sureb with a better wall to paint.
This extraordinary piece at Upfest 2018 wasn’t actually an official piece, but one of those ‘extras’ that we get in Dean Lane from visiting artists who didn’t get an Upfest pitch. I have tried to find out a little bit about the artist, but haven’t had much success. I found Mowcka’s website, but the ‘About’ section is beautifully lyrical and mysterious, but evasive and I expect that is the whole point.
I am troubled that on this day I managed to get water on my lens and didn’t check it or discover it until I uploaded the photographs. The result is presentationally disappointing, but the artwork magnificent. There is something very ‘mother Earth’ about these characters and a fair amount of symbolism going on too.
The curious thing about Upfest is that one is exposed to so many pieces in the space of such a short time that it can be overwhelming, and my coping mechanism is to take as many pictures as I can so that recall is enhanced when it comes to posting some time after the event.
This fabulous piece from Bristol-based Hypo passed be by on the day I took this picture. I kind of remember seeing a piece by him, but I didn’t commit it to my deep memory – thank goodness for my archive. This is a clean and sharp piece with interesting and legible letter shapes and that central fill is rather special. Always great to (re)discover work by Hypo.
At Upfest 2018 there were a great many stencil artworks , which was great to see, including this cracker from S.A.S-Art. With a touch of menace and rebellion about it, this piece conjures up struggles with established authority, something of a common occurrence these days.
The stencil looks like a fairly straight forward 3 layers, but what lifts it from the crowd is the background setting which looks like the piece could be set in a war zone sort of thing. A brave and atmospheric piece.