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?

Alex Lucas

A gallery of murals from Bristol illustrator and artist Alex Lucas

All photographs taken by Scooj

Alex Lucas, York Road, Bristol, March 2020
Alex Lucas, York Road, Bristol, March 2020
Alex Lucas, The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019
Alex Lucas, The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019
Alex Lucas, The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019
Alex Lucas, The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019
Alex Lucas, Easton Business Centre, Bristol, May 2019
Alex Lucas, Easton Business Centre, Bristol, May 2019
Alex Lucas, 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
Alex Lucas, Street art door, A Year Outdoors, Bristol, December 2018
Alex Lucas, Ashley Road, Bristol, December 2018
Alex Lucas, Ashley Road, Bristol, December 2018
Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, February 2018
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, February 2018
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, February 2018
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, February 2018
Alex Lucas, Charlotte Street, Bristol, November 2017
Alex Lucas, Charlotte Street, Bristol, November 2017
Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, October 2017
Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, October 2017
Alex Lucas, Picton Street, Bristol, March 2016
Alex Lucas, Picton Street, Bristol, March 2016
Alex Lucas, York Road, Bristol, December 2016
Alex Lucas, York Road, Bristol, December 2016
Alex Lucas, York Road, Bristol, December 2016
Alex Lucas, York Road, Bristol, December 2016
Alex Lucas, York Road, Bristol, December 2016
Alex Lucas, York Road, Bristol, December 2016
Alex Lucas, Picton Mews, Bristol, September 2016
Alex Lucas, Picton Mews, Bristol, September 2016
Alex Lucas, St Andrew's Road, Bristol, March 2016
Alex Lucas, St Andrew’s Road, Bristol, March 2016
Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2015
Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2015
Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2015
Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2015
Alex Lucas, Park Row, Bristol, November 2015
Alex Lucas, Park Row, Bristol, November 2015
Alex Lucas, Park Row, Bristol, November 2015
Alex Lucas, Park Row, Bristol, November 2015
Alex Lucas, Park Row, Bristol, November 2015
Alex Lucas, Park Row, Bristol, November 2015
Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, September 2015
Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, September 2015
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, April 2016
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, April 2016
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, April 2016
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, April 2016
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, December 2015
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, December 2015
Alex Lucas, Picton Street, Bristol, March 2106
Alex Lucas, Picton Street, Bristol, March 2106

1408. Stokes Croft

Every now and then, a significant piece of street art is created, one that becomes a landmark or a statement in the locality. This commission piece, Turbo Island’s coral reef, by Alex Lucas is one of those significant works. Turbo Island is a little patch of green created by a fork in the main road with Jamaica Street, directly opposite.

Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, December 2017
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, December 2017

The piece was completed on Christmas Eve 2017 and took some six weeks to complete. I am not entirely sure who the commission was from, but I think it is the company who own the building/offices.

Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, February 2018
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, February 2018

Alex is steadily brightening up Bristol building by building and I think that this is one of her finest yet. Of course, my marine biology background means that I am particularly fond of this one.

Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, February 2018
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, February 2018

The detail on the piece is typical of Alex’s work and each of the creatures is crammed with its own character from the rather grumpy shark at the top of the piece to the little hermit crab at the bottom right.

Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, February 2018
Alex Lucas, Stokes Croft, Bristol, February 2018

This is a piece that can be studied over a long while, making little discoveries each time you look at it. A huge asset to the area and worth hunting down if you happen to be visiting Bristol. Thank you Alex Lucas!

1317. Charlotte Street (2)

The incredible Alex Lucas is pretty well known across Bristol, if not by name then by recognition of her artwork. She seems to have her work all over the place and her commissions definitely brighten up the city.

Alex Lucas, Charlotte Street, Bristol, November 2017
Alex Lucas, Charlotte Street, Bristol, November 2017

From shop fronts to indoor murals, barely a day goes by when Bristolians aren’t touched in some way by her work. This is a case in point, the Bluebird Tea Company half way up Park Street.

Alex Lucas, Charlotte Street, Bristol, November 2017
Alex Lucas, Charlotte Street, Bristol, November 2017

This isn’t some corporate makeover, but rather a beautifully bespoke design for a particular kind of outlet. It is a one-off, and a glance at the detail in the piece demonstrates this.

Alex Lucas, Charlotte Street, Bristol, November 2017
Alex Lucas, Charlotte Street, Bristol, November 2017

Is this street art? some may ask. In my view, absolutely it is. Just because it is paid-for work doesn’t make it any less legitimate. It isn’t edgy or covert, but it is representative of one end of the huge spectrum of public street/graffiti art available to all in Bristol.

1236. Upfest 2017 (120)

I love seeing the work of Alex Lucas wherever it crops up, but it is especially nice to see her work at Upfest, when it isn’t tied to a commission. Alex Lucas has made a huge impression on the city of Bristol and her work is dotted all around the city – I have featured much of it on this blog.

Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

This piece was a bit tucked away, and incredibly difficult to photograph with the crowds and the lighting. Even so, it is possible to see that this is a classy illustration of a cat who is thinking about a mouse. Yum.