3397. Cumberland Basin

The third piece from an outstanding recent paint jam on the long wall at Cumberland Basin that I have posted on Natural Adventures is by Sled One, and features a Raccoon (something that SPZero76 is a specialist in painting) off on its travels.

Sled One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020
Sled One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020

I saw a little video clip on Sled One’s Instagram feed which had a little raccoon dropping a piece of ice into some water and getting utterly confused when the ice just disappeared like magic… so beyond the poor mammal’s comprehension. I think this piece is a retelling of that little snippet of film through the imaginative lens of Sled One. This surreal piece is rooted in experience and naturally has been painted with supreme expertise. Classic Sled One.

3385. M32 roundabout J3 (271)

Coming across a Soker piece is never disappointing and when it is a variation away from his usual letters SOKER or SOKEM it is especially noteworthy. This wonderfully colourful burner spells out Super FREAK. I don’t know what the reference is, but I do know that the result is superb.

Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2020
Soker, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2020

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something about Soker’s style that is uniquely his and that makes identification relatively easy… maybe it is the curves in the letters or the 3D shadow, I don’t know, but most of the time it is possible to get it right. The fills in the letters are to die for, and overall this is the work of a craftsman at the very top of his game.

3382. Brunel Way Bridge (81)

A beautiful and typically imaginative piece of writing from Sled One, painted alongside a Ments piece I posted last week. The colour palette is rather unusual set on a pale yellow background, certainly uplifting in this rather dark place.

Sled One, Brunel Way, Bristol, December 2020
Sled One, Brunel Way, Bristol, December 2020

The letters spell out MENTS, which is confusing, because I spent ages trying to find his usual SLED letters. I’m not sure what the symbolism of the brick walls and barbed wire is, but it might be a comment on the pandemic restrictions we have all had to suffer for so long. An interesting piece.

3343. M32 Cycle path (91)

Last weekend, a chance meeting with Sam Spade (a street art hunter) in St Werburghs tunnel, led to one of those perfect moments for photographing street art and meeting artists. He told me that there was a lot of activity on the M32 cycle path, behind the Black Swan and that I ought to get myself over there. I was heading in that direction anyway, but the light was fading and I might just as easily have headed home. Luckily I went to take a look and there was a paint jam of about seven or eight artists just coming to an end, many of whom I hadn’t met before (more on that in posts to come).

Sled One, M32 cycle path, Bristol, November 2020
Sled One, M32 cycle path, Bristol, November 2020

This piece from Sled One had already been completed, and he was just hanging around watching the other artists as they completed their work. Sled One is one of the most gifted artists I know, and he seems to be able to create stunning work, graffiti writing or character pieces, with consummate ease. Here the letters spell out SLED (although it almost looks like he has slipped in  an extra D) in a selection of letter shapes and colour shadings. The red and blue cloud clumps add an extra dimension to this fine piece of writing.

3294. Dean Lane skate park (362)

Within street art circles, the digital social media network is a fairly crowded place, and a fair proportion of the pieces I photograph I have already seen on Instagram and I make a deliberate decision to go and find them. A smaller proportion of pieces I ‘discover’ all on my own and in a strange way this gives me rather more personal satisfaction. I suppose one solution would be to stop using social media (would probably be a good thing in the long run), but somehow these platforms lend themselves so well to the ephemeral nature of the art I love. I found this one without knowing of its existence and what a lovely surprise it was.

Soker, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2020
Soker, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2020

Soker has knocked it out of the park with this tight colourful and beautifully designed piece of graffiti writing in Dean Lane. The colours used with the letters complement each other so well whilst contrasting too – how does he achieve that? The whole thing simply oozes class, something I have said so many times when writing about Soker’s work. Classy work, classy artist.

3289. Cheltenham 2020 (11)

It is time for another short series of posts on this year’s Cheltenham Paint Festival back in September, starting with this lovely collaboration from Bristol artists Inkie and Soker. This is one of those collaborations where the artists share a wall and colour scheme, but each piece is otherwise independent.

Inkie, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020
Inkie, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020

On the left is a stunner from Inkie full of intricate detail. This is a piece which the artist obviously spent a lot of time on and that time has paid off because in my eyes this is a near-perfect piece of graffiti writing.

Soker, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020
Soker, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020

On the right of the wall Soker has similarly smashed it. To anyone seeing this and thinking this is just another piece of graffiti, think again… this is world-class writing from two of the very best, and how lucky are we that they both come from Bristol. The more I look at this piece, the more I enjoy it. Bravo!

Inkie and Soker, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020
Inkie and Soker, Paint festival, Cheltenham, September 2020

3271. Princes Place (2)

This wall is an epic wall. There had been an incredible 3Dom piece here for a long time which was replaced by an exceptional Sepr and 3Dom collaboration and now in its most recent makeover we are blessed with this outstanding Sepr and Inkie collaboration.

Sepr, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020
Sepr, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020

On the left we have a classic masked thief in a stripy black and white top breaking a safe, stethoscope in hand. Everything about this cartoon character is brilliant – I just don’t know how Sepr can do this with spray paint, it is quite remarkable and I am awe.

Inkie, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020
Inkie, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020

On the right is a stunning piece of writing from Inkie with the words ‘Take the money and run’ with the words ‘the’ and ‘and run’ highlighted in different fontd and colours from the main body of writing. The ‘the’ is just so Inkie!

Sepr and Inkie, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020
Sepr and Inkie, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020

While I am not too sure what the whole piece refers to, I don’t think matters too much because the class of the artistry simply screams out – one of the best collaborations I have seen for quite a while. What is it about this wall?

Sepr and 3Dom, Princes' Place, Bristol, February 2018
Sepr and 3Dom, Princes’ Place, Bristol, February 2018
3Dom, Princes Place, Bristol, February 2016
3Dom, Princes Place, Bristol, February 2016

3240. St Werburghs tunnel (196)

You know that the world has gone all topsy-turvy when Inkie hits so many walls in Bristol in such a short time. I am not complaining mind, and it is perhaps one of the few upsides of the coronavirus epidemic that Inkie seems to be spending more time in his native Bristol.

Inkie, St Werburghs, Bristol October 2020
Inkie, St Werburghs, Bristol October 2020

This is a recent piece in the tunnel painted alongside Tizer who has made two visits to Bristol in as many months. This is a lovely four-colour filled piece blended horizontally in two contrasting hues. Slightly less elaborate than some of his Oieces, but beautifully decorated with hearts and stars. Always, always great to find an Inkie piece.

3204. M32 Spot (82)

Painted alongside friends Inkie, Smak and Sled One, this is a first class piece of graffiti writing from Soker, who since lock down restrictions were eased has been very busy on the streets, which is a great thing for people like me.

Soker, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2020
Soker, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2020

The writing is superbly clean with a black shadow and white boundary that gives the whole thing a sharp crispness. There is a lovely blend of greens and blues in the letter fills and the red bubbles complement the piece beautifully. The work of a graffiti master.

3203. John Street (1)

This is the first of ten very special pieces from John Street, tucked away in the old quarter of Bristol just behind Nelson Street. A developer is working on a building that has ten archways and they have run a competition for invited street artists to paint each of the archways with a small cash prize for the best one chosen by a panel of judges. That is the most that I know at the moment, gathered from a chance meeting with John Nation (the godfather of street art in Bristol). I will add more details once I have researched them properly.

Sled One, John Street, Bristol, September 2020
Sled One, John Street, Bristol, September 2020

This is the first archway working from left to right and is by the amazing Sled One who is telling us another amazing story in  the way he does so well. The main character is a rabbit chilling out at home (a sign of the times maybe) clutching a phone and a beer with a smoking cigarette in an ashtray. It looks like the rather forlorn rabbit is texting friends to keep in touch. He is weating a giant comedy shoe while a black cat watches on. So many details and so much to look at in this remarkable piece by Sled One and a great way to open up this series of posts from John Street. Hats off to the developers.