I was alerted to this superb stencil from Stewy and Voice of Joan through a rather different route than my usual network of artists/hunters. I stumbled upon an Instagram post from @thiscitymum, and unlike my usual leads who scan the regular spots we visit, she wonders around the city taking pictures of wonderful things and in doing so leaves the beaten track and finds some hidden gems like this one.
This huge stencil on the side of a house is in an area where parked cars are a fact of life. I have visited this piece twice and the cars are a real challenge, so these are the best pictures I have so far. The single layer stencil in black is set on the neutral green background and features Lewis Carroll’s Alice peering round a curtain. Of course the piece is after John Tenniel who produced the original illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. (Note this representation is a reversed version of the original).
Private commissions like this one are what makes a city sing, and I take my hat off to the owners of the end-of-terrace house. I have featured Stewy many times on Natural Adventures and his pieces are always of the highest quality. I have not however heard of Voice of Joan before, but will keep my eyes peeled. Something a bit different in Bedminster.
Well this was a red letter day, oh yes. The day street art arrived in Redland (although we must not forget Cheo’s mural at Redland Station). Big bold and screaming out REDLAND for all to see.
This is a magnificent collaboration between 2Keen, Ryder and Aspire, and during its creation I have had the fortune to stop and talk to 2Keen on a couple of occasions, seeing as it is not at all far away from where I live.
What I did not know is that 2Keen is one of the original Bristol graffiti artists and is held in very high esteem indeed by his peers. This is the first piece of his that I have been aware of, although I might have seen others without realising who they were by.
For those of you not familiar with the geography of Bristol, Redland is a very middle class, aspirational and residential part of the city, and although there is probably widespread appreciation of Bristol’s street art within the local community, it isn’t the sort of thing one expects to see at its heart. I so dearly love it.
2Keen told me that he had mixed reviews while he was working on it. Some people tried to move him on, some stopped to chat, the police took a look and admired the work, but to the shame of Redland some people spat at him. Well heeled…my arse!
I believe the writing is by Ryder, the dodo on the right by the magnificent Aspire, fresh from his Stokes Croft pigeon, and the rest of the fabulous Alice in Wonderland work is by 2Keen.
I’m not sure if it will ever happen, but 2Keen said he’d take me out to spray a wall somewhere and teach me how it all works. I just need to find him again and take him up on the offer. Happy days.
Well, here it is, the ‘official’ piece by What Have I Done Now. This Alice in Wonderland work seems to create a graffiti wall all on its own. An anarchic Alice (the piece is called ‘A is for Alice) stands looking at a colourful wall (with drips!) and casts a beautiful shadow. I can’t quite read the words on the left of the picture, but I think it says ‘curiouser and curiouser, (?) I am. Which way do I go?’ which is a slight corruption of the original quote.
I am very fond of the Alice in Wonderland story, having read it more than once, but also having listened to the most incredible double album musical version of the book starring Karen Dotrice, Bruce Forsyth, Dirk Bogard, Tommy Cooper and many other incredible actors. I listened to this hundreds of times with my sister when we were kids. This artwork has sent me on a hunt for the album and, goodness me, the Interweb has come up trumps. I cannot tell you how happy I am to be able to listen to the album again after some forty years or so – you can hear it on YouTube here. I thoroughly recommend it. Happy now.