4522. Upfest 2022 (19)

How wonderful to see a familiar Bristol artist taking up one of the semi-permanent walls at Upfest this year. The artist in question is the magnificent Kid Crayon with the first of two Upfest pieces, the other being on a temporary board in Greville Smyth Park.

Kid Crayon, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Kid Crayon, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

This rather rare (these days) street piece by Kid Crayon features his name in blues and pinks, nicely worked around the notice board on the wall and a beautiful cartoon-style portrait. The portrait of a silver-haired woman wearing a choker round her neck, is a fine portrait indeed and works so well with his style. The best bit is a return of a floating crayon just in front of the woman’s mouth. It is so good to see Kid Crayon hitting walls again, I only hope he finds time to keep up the momentum.

4521. Upfest 2022 (18)

One of Bristol’s biggest losses (in street art terms) in recent years was the departure of Aspire, who took up residence in the old smoke, making the opposite decision to the one I made many years ago. I definitely know where I’d rather live, and it is not in London. On the upside, Aspire does come to visit Bristol from time to time, and he always seems to dazzle us during Upfest.

Aspire, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Aspire, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

Aspire specialises in creating the most beautiful pictures of birds and in this Upfest piece he has perfectly captured my favourite British bird, the Goldfinch. His work is never complete without his trademark pixelation, and it is interesting to see from this work in progress, that he adds the pixels at the end of the painting process.

Aspire, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Aspire, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

I love this piece, it feels very uncluttered, and the neutral skyline background serves to lift the goldfinch out from the boards. If you are interested in seeing more of Aspire’s work, I recommend you take a little look at a gallery I compiled in 2018, and updated today.

I leave you with three Haiku poems I wrote about goldfinches:

Charm

Goldfinches return

colours exaggerated

in bright winter sun

Lucky Charm

One…two…five…seven…

nine goldfinches together

in our silver birch.

Haiku 7

Vibrant tricolor

and flanking golden flashes

majestic goldfinch

4520. Upfest 2022 (17)

This is an extraordinary piece from TEAone for Upfest 2022, and one of my firm favourites this year. From a distance, the piece has a photorealistic quality, looking like an old photograph from a scrapbook or something like that. The effect is quite amazing.

TEAone, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
TEAone, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

TEAone manages to create an incredible atmosphere in this scene with what looks like a continental street. It is set in a warm climate, with the air conditioning units and washing hanging out to dry, and the archway and shopfront and awning have all the hallmarks of a European country, and the word Cucina suggests it would be Italy. I absolutely love this piece… it fills my nostrils with the smells of abroad and a longing to be where this is. I can lose myself in this piece and forget that I am standing in the middle of Bedminster. Bravo TEAone.

4519. Upfest 2022 (16)

I have met Goin only once and it was at an Upfest a few years ago. He had just finished a stencil piece in a spot that was not a recognised Upfest wall (let’s call it) and was looking rather sheepish. I tried to strike up a conversation with him, but he wished to keep his anonymity intact and was backwards in coming forwards (and who can blame him). Things have moved on since then, and Goin has created this magnificent wall for Upfest 2022.

Goin, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Goin, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

I had to have a couple of goes at photographing this piece, because there were shadows running across the wall in my first attempts. This was one of the first walls to be completed at this year’s Upfest, and is a real statement piece. Big, bold and simple the girl in greyscale is wearing a beret, but the only revolution here is for love. The only colour is a red badge on her beret and the heart cushion she is clasping to her chest. The piece feels important and significant and is a strong message in these uncertain and troubling times.

4503. Upfest 2022 (15)

We are living in a country whose government has brought it to its knees. This conservative government has destroyed so much that I and others hold dear. I honestly don’t think I share any of their values at all, and every day I feel disgusted by their announcements and ashamed to be British. On the upside, I know that I am not alone, as this piece by Georgie suggests. We must be careful not to lay all the Blame on Mr Johnson. The mess began with David Cameron who gave in to the right-wingers, and we now have a far right cabinet doing their incompetent worst. Unspeakable really.

Georgie, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Georgie, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

This piece is a direct reference to ‘partygate’, which is symbolic of the contempt Mr Johnson and his government have for the people they serve. The piece features The nasty man holding up a glass in a toast to Lee Cain, at a leaving party that wasn’t a party in lockdown. Georgie has captured the moment well. The balloons are real balloons attached to the piece creating a fabulous effect. Hear, hear Georgie.

4502. Upfest 2022 (14)

Nol is another artist who is no stranger to Upfest and appears to really enjoy himself with his lighthearted and rather geeky monsters. This year Nol introduced an element of gamification to his work. His main piece was an identification parade of four monsters, each of which could be found dotted around Bedminster, and could be ‘collected’.

Nol, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Nol, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

I managed to find three of the four monsters, and I have a feeling that the fourth had been painted over before I ever managed to photograph it, which I guess is the story of street art all over… you snooze, you lose.

Nol, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Nol, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Nol, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Nol, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Nol, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Nol, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

4501. Upfest 2022 (13)

Alongside all the newcomers to Bristol’s Upfest festival, there is a cohort of ‘regulars’ who turn up and wow us with their talent, year after year. One of these regulars is RTC (Rich Turner) who has been present at several festivals and presented us with this magnificent British bulldog stencil piece this year.

RTC, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
RTC, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

RTC manages to produce these massively detailed and multi-layered stencil pieces that are photorealistic in their appearance. The backgrounds too are beautifully constructed with hexagons bubbles and stars all adding to the structure of the piece. What is most amazing is that it is all contained with; one of the small 1m squared board.

4500. Upfest 2022 (12)

This post marks a small milestone in the development of Natural Adventures, being my 4,500th street art/graffiti post. I never thought that this would happen when I first set up this blog, but it is funny how things happen in the most unexpected ways. This Upfest 2022 piece is by Bjor, and is a striking and beautiful piece, a little reminiscent of some of Jody’s work.

Bjor, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Bjor, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

I guess the contrast between the greyscale portrait and the abstract colourful swirl of thought/imagination/soul is what makes this piece so intriguing, there is a story happening somewhere in this splash of colour.

Bjor, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Bjor, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

I have not seen any of Bjor’s work before (one of the joys of Upfest is seeing the work of so many artists for the first time), and it is very fine accomplished stuff. Bjor comes from Norway and his artwork, which you can see on his Facebook page, is definitely worth a look.

4499. Upfest 2022 (11)

I have said many times on this blog that one of the great things about street art is that much of it chronicles the times we live in, either overtly in a political context or sometimes in more subtle ways through visual cues or references. This Upfest stencil piece from Daisy Mae Morris is an overt reverence to the war in Ukraine and features Volodymir Zelensky.

Daisy May Morris, Upfest 22, May 2022
Daisy May Morris, Upfest 22, May 2022

The piece is a take on the famous Lord Kitchener poster of the First World War and seeks to gain the support of Britons in the struggle Ukraine face against dictator Putin and his Russian army. It is a nicely done stencil and I was lucky enough to watch her doing the very final touches to the piece, but not lucky enough to stop for a chat. Great work.

4484. Upfest 2022 (10)

Shortly after painting this vibrant piece for Upfest, Rtiiika had a leaving paint jam on Cattle Market Road with her Bristol Womxn Mural Collective friends. I am not too sure where she is leaving to or how long for, but I am certain she will be back.

Rtiiika, Upfest22, Bristol, May 2022
Rtiiika, Upfest22, Bristol, May 2022

This is a beautifully designed piece with Rtiiika’s classic stylised figures all jumbled up together. A mash up of shoes, hats, legs, boobs and willies, some in outline and some in solid fill make this a dynamic and fun piece. Even though Rtiiika has left Bristol, I have several more of her pieces in my archive which I hope to find time to post. One of my favourite Rtiiika pieces.