1949. Upfest 2018 (123)

There is so much going on in this magnificent piece by Andrew Burns Colwill, but it is not busy…on the contrary it is calm and peaceful which is somewhat at odds with a fragmenting world it represents.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Andrew Burns Colwill, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I like Andrew Burns Colwill very much, both as an artist and as an acquaintance, and I managed to catch up with him a couple of times during the festival. He had started early, so by the time I first found him on the Friday, his work was already well underway.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Andrew Burns Colwill, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The piece combines several ideas and themes, but the obvious one is a representation of the biggest issue of our time (other than climate change), Brexit. The world is represented by an apple, and we hold it in our (multicultural) hands.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Andrew Burns Colwill, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

A bite has been taken from the apple and is seen sinking in the water below. A closer look at the lost piece of apple shows the UK cut-off and drifting away all alone. One can read in so many metaphors into this work – brotherhood, loss, a gift, urbanisation and so on, but for me it is the isolation of the UK that stands out.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Andrew Burns Colwill, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

A most brilliant piece, and one of the highlights of the 2018 festival.

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1948. Upfest 2018 (122)

About Ponny left us a few of his poignant wheatpastes about the place during Upfest, of which this is the third I have posted. All of them have featured subjects who have hit upon hard times. The beautiful stencils in dark tones highlighted with copper have a sad but gentle feel to them and they are full of pathos.

About Ponny, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
About Ponny, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I am full of admiration for the work of this Italian artist, and how, in a quiet and subtle way, he reflects the troubles of our age of austerity and economic struggles. No fuss, no ranting, simply an honest portrayal.

1947. Upfest 2018 (121)

Here we see yet another great new wall for Upfest 2018… the organisers really pulled out all the stops for the tenth anniversary festival. Slightly off the beaten track, but well worth the walk is this enormous piece by Andy Council on a Wessex Water building.

Andy Council, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Andy Council, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This is a really wonderful piece that features a couple of Otters, characteristically for this artist composed of architectural landmarks from Bristol. Andy Council needed extensive scaffolding to get the piece completed safely, which remained in place beyond the end of the festival, so many visitors might not have seen the completed piece.

Andy Council, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Andy Council, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

He seemed to be enjoying himself up there, but was well away from the bustle of activity in the main painting areas.

Andy Council, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Andy Council, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Three landmarks clearly visible on the otter on the right are the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Create Centre and the Tobacco Factory. This is yet another outstanding piece from Andy Council and one that I hope remains for a long while.

Andy Council, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Andy Council, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

 

 

1914. Upfest 2018 (110)

I remember very well the piece that Bill Giles created for Upfest 2017, and this piece, in a similar style, is bigger and better. Bill is a Bristol designer/illustrator and street artist whose ‘melting’ characters are instantly recognisable.

Bill Giles, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Bill Giles, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This piece, at the Tobacco Factory, is classic Bill Giles and has real class. It is great to have a picture of the skecth stage of the work to get a feel for how the piece gets from the black book onto the wall.

Bill Giles, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Bill Giles, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I like this piece, and rather wish he did a little more street work than he does. Imagine what this would look like at Dean Lane for example. A lovely piece for Upfest.

Bill Giles, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Bill Giles, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

1912. Upfest 2018 (108)

With so many artists flooding in to Bristol for Upfest, it is always great to see that there is a good representation of local artists, who keep things real. It can be overwhelming seeing so much street art, and at times awe inspiring, but it is as well to remember the roots of a festival like this whose foundations were built on the work of graffiti writers and street artists who produce work day in and day out on our city streets.

Ryder, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Ryder, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This is a great piece of writing from Ryder of RAW (Read and Weep) which is technically brilliant as well as rather beautiful. Each of the letters seems to be bursting with character, and the colours and shading are absolutely masterfully worked. Anyone who wants to get more into burners, should take a long hard look at this one and enjoy the technique that has been applied to create it.

1911. Upfest 2018 (107)

This is the second Mini Gabi wheatpaste I have posted from Upfest 2018 which this time features our heroine making a strong and contemporary statement ‘girls’ rights to feel safe!!’

Mini Gabi, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Mini Gabi, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Before the festival I had never heard of Mini Gabi but strangely enough on my trip to Shoreditch in November I saw several of her paste ups, which felt really good. I’ll be posting them in due course. I’m rather liking this little character who has real attitude (some similarities to Phoebe New York), and regular readers will know I am very ford of wheatpastes.

1910. Upfest 2018 (106)

I have only ever seen three pieces by Beep Monkey, and each of them has been at each of the last three Upfests. His work is consistently good and has a lovely cartoon style that is both witty and fun.

Beep Monkey, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Beep Monkey, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I always look out for his work at Upfest because his wife is a colleague of mine, although it took us a couple of years to work out the connection. In this piece it looks like the monkey and the rabbit are having a bit of a disagreement. The piece almost looks animated and the three white flashes give it some movement. Another beauty from Beep Monkey.

Beep Monkey, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Beep Monkey, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Beep Monkey, Ashton Gate School, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Beep Monkey, Ashton Gate School, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016