This ‘find’ is another one that I can attribute to Upfest’s summer event because I would never have stumbled across it if I hadn’t been driving around Bedminster like a lunatic looking for new Upfest pieces.
The pair of pieces on the walls of the Chessel Centre, BS3 Community, are of course by Andy Council. The pieces have probably been there for a little while because they are in the form of animals composed of architecture, including the Clifton suspension bridge, a landmark that makes an appearance in much of Andy Council’s work. His more recent pieces have moved away from architectural components instead being replaced with building blocks stitched together with cord.
Both of these little murals are packed with animals and a wonderful sense of fun. I’m not sure what the Chessel Centre actually does, but the murals convey a sense of community. This is a wonderful way to brighten up our streets.
I think that one of the spin-off benefits of the Upfest 2021 75×75 event has been that I have spent a whole lot more time in Bedminster this summer than I normally would, and in doing so have come across a few gems, like this one by Andy Council, that I might not have ordinarily seen.
This piece, which I assume is a commission, features a robin red-breast made up of multiple components stitched together with pink cord. This stitching theme is one that Andy Council has been working on a lot over the past couple of years and seems to have superseded his architectural blocks for which he is most famous. The sketch of this piece on his Instagram feed has a slightly better proportioned neck on the Robin, but I am perhaps being a bit picky. A wonderful little piece.
I came across this fabulous collaboration between Andy Council and Acer One quite by accident while they were painting it. I was actually seeking out another Upfest 75×75 piece on West Street and drove through this road on a bit of a cut- through. Andy Council was chatting with some people, but I did manage to meet Acer One for the first time, and of course, he was a great guy happy to stop for a while and talk about his work and a host of other things.
The whole piece is difficult to photograph, because the wall is long and there is car parking along the whole length. All the elements are interwoven with both artist’s work. The blue-green creatures are by Andy Council and the block geometric writing by Acer One.
The writing spells out ‘CHALLENGE CORRUPTION’ which is becoming something of an anthem in out country at the moment. This conservative administration is, more than any before it, pushing rather sinister boundaries, most of which appear to be about securing power, rather than serving the people… sound familiar? Their latest wheeze is to drive through legislation to make it easier to jail journalists who write exposés criticising government and who won’t disclose their leak sources. Oh dear.
I was able to study Acer One’s technique close up, and it is blindingly obvious really. He uses a trapezoid board, about a metre long and about 15 cm wide, with a handle in the middle, to act as a mask and measure for his letters, helping create the uniformity and sharp, straight lines of his writing. Finding out how he paints his letters has at last put to rest my curiosity.
Andy Councils creature, stitched together in several places, is wrapped around the lettering and is made up of separate blocks which look like they could be connected to each other, a little bit like a child’s toy like LEGO. The colours are imperial and the entire collaboration is rather grand. These two have been smashing it this year and it is lovely that they have been rewarded with this long wall for Upfest 2021.
This is a very special wall, indeed all the walls around the Sofa Project are special. A special wall deserves special treatment and this fabulous recent collaboration from Paul Monsters, Andy Council and Soker, is, I would say, very special.
To the left of the collaboration is a stunning nautilus or ammonite piece by Andy Council, who seems to have strayed from constructing his creatures from architecture to painting blocks that are ‘stitched’ together with bits of ‘chord’. The outcome is a very clever effect of life that is constrained from inanimate parts. Andy Council has been unbelievably busy on the streets over the last year, and I can’t remember a time when I have seen so much of his work. This is very good news.
To the right of the creature is a high-end piece of wildstyle writing from Soker painted in shades of blue with a white border/3D shadow. Spelling SOKEM, the whole thing is very easy on the eye and so obviously painted by a creative master. It is near perfect.
This collaboration just wouldn’t be anywhere near as good without the outstanding geometric pattern piece from the fabulous Paul Monsters acting as a backdrop, but contributing so much more than that. Paul Monsters pieces might just be the most recognisable in Bristol, and he has really carved out a niche for himself with this unique style and palette.
Overall an outstanding collaboration and a real treat.
What a lovely surprise it was to come across this fabulous collaboration from Andy Council and Hemper when doing my rounds a week or so back. Two fabulous artists coming together to create this poignant piece.
Andy Council has been doing more street (non-commissioned) work at the moment than I can remember for several years, and I am definitely not complaining about that. The collaboration is a tribute piece to artist and friend Wayne, although I am not too sure about the reference ‘save the wheals’. Andy Council has painted a rather sad looking whale with his customary ‘stitching’ together of components to make the whole. Very nice work indeed.
On the right, Hemper has written WAYNE with extraordinary skill with such beautiful letter shapes and and clever fills. There are never enough words to be able to describe Hemper’s work, and he is an artist who seems to be raising his own very high bar. Great to see this amazing collaboration.
This wall presented a dilemma for me. It is one contiguous collaboration piece and I could have presented it as that, however my photographs were compromised by extraordinarily bright sunlight and I could only get decent shots of sections of the piece rather than the whole, and so I have split it into separate posts of which this is the second.
This panel in by Andy Council and Acer One who collaborated several times very successfully over quite a short period this spring. The two rats are by Andy Council and show his composite approach to creating creatures, where the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. The geometric writing from Acer One has completely stumped me, and every time I try to decipher it my eye goes funny and the pattern goes flat – it looks like it might say A2. I am fully expecting chapter and verse from Paul H on this one (no pressure Paul).
The final effect is a stunning one and there is still more to come from this wall just across the road from Temple Meads Station.
This is the first of two outstanding recent collaborations by Andy Council and Acer One. What a great combination these two make… their very different styles have come together in this piece in an extraordinary way and it feels as if they were made for each other.
On the left is a superb ammonite or nautilus by Andy Council, with the coiled shell appearing to be stitched together with thick thread. The body and tentacles in rich and vibrant blues extend across the piece and weave their way into the lettering from Acer One. It is incredible how Andy Council can draw together inorganic components and create organic creatures. He is a master of this.
The right hand side of this collaboration is yet another stunning piece of designed writing from Acer One, who is definitely going through a golden period in my eyes. Here he spells out ‘Acer’ with his geometric lettering. There is an optical think going on here where the patterns can be seen either as flat designs or as 3D images. Very clever stuff.
An outstanding collaboration from these two and a little warm up for another one at Templemeads Station.
I’m not entirely certain I have seen a collaboration between Andy Council and Soker before so this recent piece on North Street is something of a wonderful surprise. The whole thhing is beautifully balanced and the colour selections work perfectly. The Soker burner in the middle is book-ended with the front and back of a dragon with parts of the back running the length of the whole piece for continuity.
I’ll start with the Soker writing, which as ever is top notch with a five colour horizontal fill that works really well and some pink/mauve 3D shading that adds real depth to the lettering. On its own this is remarkable.
The front end of the dragon by Andy Council is made up of individual components stitched together with pink looping thread. There is movement and power in this dragon, but its form is a figment of our imaginations. Very clever.
The rear end of the dragon is more of the same, but some of the component parts begin to resemble feathers flutteing away, which I am sure is no accident, because Andy Council’s usual preference for dinosaurs woud include scales and primitive feathers (derived from scales). A wonderful collaboration from thes two godfathers of Bristol street art.
Thank you Banksy for your recent visit to Bristol. I thank you because your piece drew me to an area of Bristol that I have not been to before, which is a bit of a crime for a street art hunter because Barton Hill was where a great many Bristol graffiti artists cut their teeth. Only a matter of a hundred meters or so north of the Banksy Valentine piece is a long wall on the boundary wall of Netham Park where I found this old piece by Andy Council.
The stegasaurus-type dinosaur composed of buildings and trees is typical of the incredible work that Andy Council has become famous for. I can’t believe that I didn’t know about this piece, but that is what makes doing what I do so much fun – surprises lurk around every corner. A very satisfying find on a red-letter day.
I was on a mission to buy a couple of birthday presents a week or two back, and was running out of options (and time) so I took a stroll up Gloucester Road to see what I could find, as my usual ‘sure thing’ the Guild on Park Street had somewhat let me down. One of the shops I visited a couple of times was CoLAB, a shop that sells art from local artists. This particular shop also has strong links with the street art scene and stocks a range of books published by Tangent on the subject.
On my second trip into the shop, which sealed the deal on a rather nice print of the Carriageworks (with the Iconic Sweet Toof and Rawdy crocodile), I noticed this little alcove that looked a little bit like an ex-changing room (not an exchanging room, that might be something completely diffierent). Hurrah, the unmistakable work of Andy Council.
I don’t usually post indoor art in Natural Adventures, but just occassionally…
I suspect, looking at the wear and tear on this piece it might have been done some time ago. In true Andy Council style it features a bunch of dinosaurs that are constructed out of small houses and includes the Clifton Suspension Bridge, just for good measure. His work is inextricably linked with his home city and his identity can be found all over the place. A great find in a great shop that I will visit more frequently I’m sure.