3847. Easton Business Centre (2)

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.

Alex Lucas, Easton Business Cnetre, Bristol, July 2021
Alex Lucas, Easton Business Centre, Bristol, July 2021

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.

Alex Lucas, Easton Business Cnetre, Bristol, July 2021
Alex Lucas, Easton Business Centre, Bristol, July 2021

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.

3719. North Street

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.

Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021
Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021

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.

Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021
Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021

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.

Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021
Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021

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.

The 'six sisters' - Bex Glover, Alex Lucas, Zoe Power, Gemma Compton, Sophie Long and Ejits, North Street, Bristol, May 2021
The ‘six sisters’ – Bex Glover, Alex Lucas, Zoe Power, Gemma Compton, Sophie Long and Ejits, North Street, Bristol, May 2021

My posts for the six sisters are listed below:

1. Gemma Compton

2. Zoe Power

3. Bex Glover

4. Sophie Long

5. Ejits

6. Alex Lucas

3456. Picton Street (3)

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.

Alex Lucas, Picton Street, Bristol, January 2021
Alex Lucas, Picton Street, Bristol, January 2021

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.

Alex Lucas, Picton Street, Bristol, January 2021
Alex Lucas, Picton Street, Bristol, January 2021

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).

Alex Lucas, Picton Street, Bristol, March 2016
Alex Lucas, Picton Street, Bristol, March 2016

3396. Cheltenham Road

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

Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2020
Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2020

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. 

Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2020
Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2020

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.

Happy New Year all. Bring on the new!

2849. York Road (2)

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.

Alex Lucas, York Road, Bristol, March 2020
Alex Lucas, York Road, Bristol, March 2020

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.

2253. Raleigh Road, Tobacco Factory (14)

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.

Alex Lucas, The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019
Alex Lucas, The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019

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 Lucas, The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019
Alex Lucas, The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019

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.

2251. Easton Business Centre

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.

Alex Lucas, Easton Business Centre, Bristol, May 2019
Alex Lucas, Easton Business Centre, Bristol, May 2019

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.

Alex Lucas, Easton Business Centre, Bristol, May 2019
Alex Lucas, Easton Business Centre, Bristol, May 2019

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.

Thursday doors

Doors 56

Happy New Year doorsters!

Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018
Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018

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.

So here they are:

Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018
Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018

Alex Lucas, Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018
Alex Lucas, Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018

Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018
Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018

Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018
Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018

Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018
Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018

Alex Lucas, Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018
Alex Lucas, Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018

Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018
Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018

Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018
Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018

by Scooj.

More great doors at: Thursday Doors – Norm 2.0

1916. Ashley Road (19)

What a superb piece by Alex Lucas in the heart of Alex Lucas land. The artist and illustrator fills a niche in the Bristol commission market and is probably one of the most recognised artists in the city. Because nearly all of her work is commissioned, it tends to remain in situ for a very long while.

Alex Lucas, Ashley Road, Bristol, December 2018
Alex Lucas, Ashley Road, Bristol, December 2018

This piece, wonderful as it is..and it really is…leaves me a little conflicted, not because of the artwork, but because before the development work behind the hoarding started, this used to be a regular ‘illegal’ wall for artists to try out their work, much of it outstanding. This is the gentrification process in full swing, the succession being; Illegal (tolerated) wall – permitted/commission wall – no wall (policed).

It is a sad but inevitable journey for most of our inner cities, and these areas are often in need of some TLC. My objection is that what will emerge from behind the hoarding will be unaffordable flats, little in the way of community assets and a sterilisation of a colourful area. The only people to benefit will be the people with money and power.

Let’s enjoy the hoardings while we can.

1758. Upfest 2018 (52)

Alex Lucas is no stranger to these pages and is responsible for bringing street art closer to the citizens of Bristol in a charming and accessible way. Any visitor to the city is likely to have seen a piece of her work, because she has had a lot of commissions and her illustrations lend themselves very well to shops, cafés and other high street businesses.

Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Her piece for Upfest was on yet another new wall space, but rather inconveniently interrupted by a gate. Alex has used this to her advantage and incorporated the gate as a way of joining her two hares in conversation.

Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Although on the surface her work looks quite simple, it takes a long time to produce, and this piece was a real labour of love, given the number of weather-related interruptions. Each of the hairs on her characters are individually hand drawn, and as we ought to know, hares are hairy.

Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

Most Upfest walls are re-used each year, with only the occasional one remaining as a more permanent piece. I suspect that this one will have a new artwork on it next year, which is rather odd in the case of Alex Lucas, because one is accustomed to the permanence of her work. It’s pink, it has animals…what’s not to like?