I don’t often go to this part of Montpelier, but I had been to the Italian delicatessen in Picton Street a couple of weeks ago and decided to go a little wander. I was rewarded by finding this very recently completed mural by Alex Lucas, and what a beauty it is.
I think that this wall was very much off the radar in the street art community, as the first I saw of it on social media, was a few days later from Alex Lucas herself, which made me think that I must have been there very shortly after completion and scaffolding removal. This is a classic piece of Lucas artwork, with a fabulous design of two birds with a floral accompaniment. This is truly magnificent stuff. It won’t be long before every building in Montpelier will be adorned with one of her works.
Alex Lucas has had a very good and productive year. Her beautiful murals, most of them commissions, have been appearing with joyous regularity through the year. This is one of her latest pieces, just off North Street in Bedminster, and is the centrepiece of a Christmas mural trail produced in partnership with Upfest, Aardman Studio and Netflix, promoting Aardman’s new animation Robin Robin.
I will have to walk the length of North Street at some point, perhaps over the Christmas break, to photograph all the other little characters along the trail. This is a very Bristol thing going on and something all citizens here can be proud of. A coming together of a Bristol-based film studio, a Bristol artist and a Bristol street art events business… a fine combination.
I have said it before, but there are a few artists in the Bristol whose illustrations, designs and murals have become synonymous with the city and I would name Alex Lucas as one of these, and the other two would be Cheo and Andy Council. These three adding colour and recognition to the place.
This gorgeous new mural from Alex Lucas wasn’t the easiest to find, but with a little perseverance I got there in the end, and my search was well rewarded. Tucked away to the side of the building, by the bike racks, this piece, which is a little difficult to photograph, presents a little scene in which a couple of dogs are out on a delivery bicycle laden with cups of coffee.
The concept is imaginative, and as always the execution by Alex Lucas is perfect. There is so much character in the dogs and the scene is a whole lot of fun with its ‘Ulti-mutt coffee’ label. The piece joins another by Alex Lucas on another wall of the Easton Business Centre.
what I love about Alex Lucas’ work is that when you take a close up look Lou can see all the detail in the piece, and here, hidden in amongst all the coffee cups is a third little dog enjoying the ride. A lovely new mural to add to the growing portfolio.
This is the sixth and final part of the Six Sisters project in North Street, a series of six huge facade murals by six female Bristol artists, organised by Upfest. This final part of the series is by Alex Lucas, who has featured in Natural Adventures numerous times, and a gallery of her work can be found here.
This piece is an absolute beauty and brings the series to a great crescendo. Alex Lucas brings her illustration skills to the fore with these three poodles and a pug? In amongst some beautiful flowers and clouds. The vibrancy of the colours was enhanced by the gorgeous weather on the day I took these pictures.
The poodles (not my favourite breed if I am honest) are full of life and movement with suitably daft expressions on their faces. They are frolicking amongst the clouds and amazing yellow flowers. The whole thing resembles fancy bespoke wallpaper.
When Gemma Compton completed the first of these murals above the Upfest shop in June 2016, I don’t think anyone could have foreseen what a wonder this row of shops would become five years later. Bravo to all the artists and hats off to Upfest for giving the city this amazing landmark.
It has taken me far too long to take photographs of this wonderful mural by Alex Lucas. It is in Picton Street on the facade of her shop and replaced one that she had painted a few years earlier and which had begun to look a little tired. The makeover is a huge success.
I think that Alex Lucas deserves a title, something like the Duchess of Montpelier would be appropriate on account of the sheer volume of outstanding murals, big and small, that she has painted in the area, helping to make it a ‘go to’ destination for visitors to Bristol.
The black and white birds are beautifully drawn and sit on a backdrop of outstanding purple flowers on a blue background. This is both sumptuous and eye-catching and a massive part of Bristol’s USP (one that Bristol City Council are conflicted about – I’ll probably leave that rant for another post).
This is the perfect way to end 2020 with a spanking new and rather beautiful mural on the Cheltenham road just before the Arches heading north. The mural is by Alex Lucas and covers the entire wall of what was Flour and Ash but is now a new vegan Mezze bar called Koo Cha
I had been anticipating the unveiling of this piece for some time as I live nearby and had seen Alex painting it on a large scaffold erected in front of the building. It certainly didn’t disappoint, in fact I think it might be one of my favourite pieces by the illustrator/muralist.
The cheetahs are absolutely stunning and stand out well on the blue background and the flowers are a beautiful touch that ‘glue’ the whole thing together. We are so lucky in Bristol to have Alex Lucas whose work lights up the city and brings such happiness to its citizens. Bravo Alex, bravo!
It has been an extraordinary year for street art and graffiti in Bristol and around the country. A succession of lockdowns and an extended period of social distancing behaviours haven’t done anything to stem the tide of wonderful artwork and I have had difficulty keeping up with it all. I think this year has been the most productive since I started Natural Adventures almost six years ago. The quality of work has increased too and there has been an influx of artists from the UK and beyond.
Some artists have gone to ground for periods this year, reflecting what had been a troubling time, and work patterns have gone haywire too which will have affected some people’s ability to choose when they can make time for street art. In spite of it all, it has been an outstanding year on Bristol’s streets. Here’s to more in 2021.
Another old gem discovered on a ‘Covid-14 dog walk’ in Montpelier by very local artist Alex Lucas. This part of Bristol is liberally sprinkled with commissions by Alex Lucas and her murals have become part of the USP in this Bohemian district of the city. I had toyed with the idea of reserving this one for my Thursday doors post yesterday, but wanted to highlight it as a fine example of Alex’s work.
The front gate features a spider and a (Bristol) fox and the words:
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery”
It is beautifully painted in her distinctive illustrative style and although looking a little weathered is a charming addition to her portfolio. My recent dog walks are proving to be fruitful in ways I would not have predicted.
Two weekends ago there was a special event held at the Tobacco Factory to celebrate 25 years since becoming a Bristol arts venue. As part of those celebrations the Tobacco Factory teamed up with Upfest who organised some artists to paint the car park walls under the Summer Editions banner. A firm favourite for such events is the wonderful Alex Lucas who painted this gorgeous piece.
Entitled ‘Pipe peace’ the illustration is based on a particular type of smoking pipe, used by a number of Native American cultures in their sacred ceremonies (so Alex tells us in her Instagram feed). I guess the link is tobacco.
The pipe reminds me that one of my closest friends at school, and indeed a next door neighbour, had a peace pipe in his house which belonged to his father. His father was an illustrator of children’s books, all of which were Native American stories, brought to life with the most extraordinarily detailed drawings using Rotring ink pens. I loved the books he created and the illustrations were sublime. His name was Paul Goble and I was always full of admiration of his work. I just read on the Wikipedia page that he passed away in 2017, which has made me feel very sad indeed. I digress…
Alex was very busy with her work when I went to the 25th anniversary celebrations, and I had my dog with me, so I wasn’t really able to have a chat, especially as my dog might have upset her dog which was in the crate next to her. I really like this piece, the lines are so clean and the simple four colours work so well together, a little reminiscent of the Dr Seuss illustrative style. Definitely worth a trip.
Getting a bit lost in Bristol can have its rewards. I dropped my son off at a friend’s house recently, he could have got the local train, but it was a Bank Holiday and they just don’t run very regularly, so the dad taxi it was. Good thing too, because I decided to take a different route home which meant that I drove past this magnificent mural by Alex Lucas that I had no idea even existed.
The commission is an eye catching and vibrant ‘advert’ for the Easton Business Centre, and I imagine has become something of a local landmark. It is an imaginative and creative piece in the wonderful illustrative style used by Alex Lucas.
Three rather shifty looking foxes are dressed and equipped as miners. I am not sure of the significance of this other than that there has historically been some mining in Bristol and maybe this is a reference to that. Whatever the story, this is an absolute gem and finding it was a joyful moment.
It would seem that just before Christmas, all my Christmases did actually come at once, which is a rare occurrence.
On my way to work I walk past City Hall, and on one of my last days in the office before the Christmas break, something caught my eye on the long ramps outside the front of the building. That something was not one or two, but several framed doors, each one painted by artists from Bristol.
Naturally I had to take a closer look and of course some photographs. Imagine how I was feeling…doors and street art combined and laid out neatly right next to where I work. I was in heaven.
The only thing missing was any kind of explanation, and it wasn’t until writing this post that I found out what this exhibition was about (Christmas got in the way a little bit).
The exhibition ‘A Year Outdoors‘ was conceived by artist Beau as a way of raising awareness of the pressing issue of homelessness, and these doors were created as a metaphor to challenge austerity cuts. I felt a small whiff of irony that it was the local authority who were hosting the exhibition, perhaps that’s why there weren’t any interpretation boards explaining what the doors were all about.
The doors have been packed away now, but they will be going on tour around the UK and to the United States.