I can’t quite recall if I have ever seen a Fark piece outside Cheltenham, and I don’t think I have, but I might need to check my archives to be sure. This year at the festival, we were treated to three of his offerings, although I think I only photographed two.
I love the simplicity of his work, a classic example of the ‘less is more’ expression. Reminiscent of the Miffy character books, Fark’s birds have a charm all of their own. The message too is simple… ‘be excellent to each other’ – a phrase that could easily have come from #DFTE. This is a warm and peaceful piece and so very easy on the eye.
All I can think of when I see this creature is that it looks like a Mote version of Big Bird. I am pretty certain that it was not his intention, but like an earworm, I just can’t shake it off, so I’ll just have to settle for that.
There is no stopping Mote at the moment, and I seem to be meeting him on a fairly regular basis these days – our clocks appear to be in sync. I like the way that Mote really seems to take care with his work, and likes to buff the wall first, before carefully putting down the layers of his piece. Always finished nicely, his work is tight – no blurred lines, no sloppiness, tight.
One of Bristol’s biggest losses (in street art terms) in recent years was the departure of Aspire, who took up residence in the old smoke, making the opposite decision to the one I made many years ago. I definitely know where I’d rather live, and it is not in London. On the upside, Aspire does come to visit Bristol from time to time, and he always seems to dazzle us during Upfest.
Aspire specialises in creating the most beautiful pictures of birds and in this Upfest piece he has perfectly captured my favourite British bird, the Goldfinch. His work is never complete without his trademark pixelation, and it is interesting to see from this work in progress, that he adds the pixels at the end of the painting process.
I love this piece, it feels very uncluttered, and the neutral skyline background serves to lift the goldfinch out from the boards. If you are interested in seeing more of Aspire’s work, I recommend you take a little look at a gallery I compiled in 2018, and updated today.
I leave you with three Haiku poems I wrote about goldfinches:
Billy continues to utterly delight with her uncomplicated storytelling pieces. Her work is so accessible and has a deep connection with the viewer, and I imagine especially so with younger audiences. There is nothing pretentious or conceited about her work, it is full of fun and commentary that is pleasing to the eye and great for lifting the spirit.
I particularly like this piece, I mean what’s not to like about dogs, birds, hats, flowers, a pencil and a lava lamp. I think that the grey background works really well with the overall presentation and the colour scheme is superb. A feast for the eyes and a triumph for Billy – one of my favourite pieces of hers so far.
This was something of a red-letter day for me, turning up at Dean Lane to find Mudra painting alongside Kosc and Flava136 (who has now changed his moniker to Saor). Unfortunately, Flava136’s piece had been painted over by the time I returned to get pictures of the completed works, but Mudra and Kosc’s were intact.
Mudra is an artist who, although he has only been painting in Bristol for a couple of years, has firmly established himself in the city and is definitely going from strength to strength. With each of his pieces, his confidence and dynamism grows, and I am thoroughly enjoying the ride.
This is a curious piece that, for once, doesn’t spell out Mudra, but instead incorporates the letters NTS, a crew name (I don’t yet know what it stands for). There is a typically stylised Mudra face with a giveaway coloured nose and for some utterly unknown reason a bird perching at a bird box. Great to see and great fun.