3727. Upfest 2021 75×75 (1)

In Bristol, one of the most anticipated festivals each year is Upfest, where much of Bedminster turns its attention to a celebration of street art over a long weekend. Upfest is the largest festival of its kind in Europe and attracts artists from all over the globe as well as many closer to home. The last festival was held in 2018. In 2019, the Upfest organisers, Steve and Emma, decided to have a gap year to give all the people involved in the festival a break and prepare for 2020. We all know what happened next…

This year Upfest are hoping to hold a live event in Greville Smyth Park in August, but this looks to be in jeopardy because of the continued likelihood of restrictions due to the Delta variant of COVID-19. However, Upfest have also instigated another initiative called 75 walls in 75 days, which starting on 15 May aims to complete 75 walls by 75 different artists, thus spreading the activity and keeping it appropriately coronavirus-friendly. Although this piece by JXC is not the first to be completed, it is the first that I am posting.

JXC, Greville Road, Bristol, May 2021
JXC, Greville Road, Bristol, May 2021

JXC is an outstanding artist whose mastery of the spray can is legendary and his ability to create such fine detail is his trademark. This piece of a fly and his block capital letters and with dents smashed in the wall is absolutely outstanding, and it is difficult to know how he manages to do it. This is real high-end street art at its very best. World-class.

JXC, Greville Road, Bristol, May 2021
JXC, Greville Road, Bristol, May 2021

This piece shows not only the incredible skill of the artist, but the willingness of the very best in the game to come to Bristol and participate in Upfest. Look out for more of the 75 over the summer.

3726. M32 roundabout J3 (325)

There are a handful of graffiti writers in Bristol that I would group together in terms of what they paint and how they go about it. They would include TES (Slim Pickings), Phour, Pl8o, Bnie, Mena and in this example Mest, to name but a few. What these artists tend to do is write the same set of letters, usually in a similar font or style, but play with the fills and decorations. This is graffiti writing, but not wildstyle graffiti writing which tends to be much more elaborate and unique each time.

Mest, M32 roundabout, Bristol, May 2021
Mest, M32 roundabout, Bristol, May 2021

I think that this piece from Mest is very nicely finished and has some unusual but rather nice fills. I particularly like the pink dots that offset the rest of it. The green border helps to lift the letters a little. Overall a pleasing piece.

3725. Nine Tree Hill (6)

I don’t visit this area nearly as often as I used to. In the olden days when I walked to the office (a dim and distant memory) I would often take a little detour up Nine Tree Hill and along Armada Place. My reduction in walking this way has coincided with a significant downward shift in turnover of pieces in the locality, indeed across much of the Stokes Croft area. It was rather a nice surprise therefore to come across these three little tag-pieces from PWA crew’s Face 1st, Soap and Nightwayss.

Nightwayss and Face 1st, Nine Trees Hill, Bristol, May 2021
Nightwayss and Face 1st, Nine Trees Hill, Bristol, May 2021

I am a bit of a fan of decorating utility boxes, which in their regimented green or black monochrome colours are eyesores that pollute every street in every village, town and city in the UK. Decorating these boxes is not legal, but in my view most welcome, and in some cities around the world is actively welcomed or even commissioned… imaging that. The three pieces here are quick throw ups, probably painted in haste. The monkey is by Nightwayss, the face by Face 1st and the mouth/skull by Soap. These are the key signature elements of each of the three artists.

Soap, Nine Trees Hill, Bristol, May 2021
Soap, Nine Trees Hill, Bristol, May 2021

The three artists have decorated one box each and brightened up this little corner immeasurably. I am sure that some people will see this as thoughtless vandalism and be quite angry about it. This is the spice of life.

3724. Cumberland Basin

This is another piece from a paint jam in April this year on the long wall at Cumberland Basin. I have posted a couple of pieces from the collaborative wall already, but this one from Bnie is a little gem that I left behind.

Bnie, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, April 2021
Bnie, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, April 2021

I don’t know an awful lot about Bnie and have never had the pleasure of meeting her, but the more of her work I see, the more I like it. The element that she absolutely excels at is the 3D shadow fills, which are usually patterned in a way that few other artists do. It is the part that gives her away, no signature needed. The colour scheme was replicated along the whole length of the wall by all the artists but worked particularly well for Bnie. Always good to see.

3723. M32 roundabout J3 (324)

This gorgeous piece of graffiti writing from Ryder very nearly got left behind in the archives, however I am trying to go back and dig out such lost treasures which is a real challenge due to the sheer volume of street art being painted at the moment.

Ryder, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2021
Ryder, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2021

I haven’t seen too many Ryder pieces lately (until the day before yesterday, that is) but what he lacks in quantity he has more than made up for with quality. Spelling out RYDER, this is a classic piece of writing from the RAW man with five horizontal fills running through the letters and some rather nice black spot decorations. This is a really classy piece, and there is a little shout out to King Robbo which is rather nice.

Taboo

A gallery of outstanding graffiti writing and character pieces from Bristol’s Taboo

All photographs by Scooj

Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2021
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2021

Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, December 2020

Taboo, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2020
Taboo, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2020

Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020

Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2020

Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020

Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2020

Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020

Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, October 2020

Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, August 2020
Taboo, Brunel Way, Bristol, August 2020

Taboo, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2020
Taboo, Moon Street, Bristol, August 2020

Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2020
Taboo, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2020

Taboo, M32 cycle path, Bristol, June 2020
Taboo, M32 cycle path, Bristol, June 2020

Taboo, M32 cycle path, Bristol, June 2020
Taboo, M32 cycle path, Bristol, June 2020

Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, May 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, May 2020

Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, May 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, May 2020

Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2020
Taboo, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2020

3722. Sparke Evans Park (6)

This beautiful piece of calligraphic writing is from Todoaciem and a part of a large collaborative wall from an HMR crew paint jam a few weeks back. I have already posted the Dabuten Tronko piece from the same wall, and now it is the turn of Todoaciem.

Todoaciem, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, May 2021
Todoaciem, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, May 2021

The wall itself can be problematic to photograph, because the sun shines through large trees, creating a dappled effect. The only solution is to come early in the morning or on an overcast day, but beggars can’t be choosers, so dappled pictures is what I have.

Set on a green smokey background, which is amplified by the light quality, Todoaciem has written the letters CIEM in the most beautiful font and with a heraldic colour palette. If medieval knights did graffiti, perhaps this is what it would look like. A hugely accomplished and brilliant piece of writing.