It is great to see that VisitBristol (the local tourist authority) is putting its weight behind the creative arts, in particular street art, by commissioning this mural on one of the walls of We the Curious (formerly @Bristol). The idea behind the mural is to increase visits to the city over the Christmas period to boost tourism as this little YouTube video shows.
The artists chosen for the commission are Cheo and Silent Hobo, both of whom have featured on these pages many, many times before. Here they combine to produce this sumptuous Bristol-themed Christmas mural with a whole ton of identifiable Bristol icons.
The left hand side of the mural is mostly the work of Silent Hobo and features the aquarium, the ice rink, the cathedral and harbourside among other things and in the foreground we have a few bristol carol singers representing the two (rival) football teams.
On the right Cheo’s mural includes the Clifton suspension bridge, the zoo, the Christmas market, the M Shed and Isembard Kingdom Brunel (the greatest ever Englishman). The whole thing is surrounded with a golden frame and the whole thing is rather delicious.
Given that street art and graffiti are part of the USP for Bristol, I would love to see VisitBristol and the Council do more of this kind of thing in recognition of the street artists who bring free art to the city rather than locking it down, for example in The Bearpit.
A very quick seasonal piece from Biers. I was lucky enough to come across the artist while he was spraying this piece, but all was not well. The walls were damp and the blue paint hadn’t really properly obscured the graffiti behind it, and it wasn’t drying, which made spraying rather difficult.
There are a few things going on here – the christmas pudding appears to spell out NFS, which might be short for ‘no frills’ a phrase used by Biers in his works. There is deliberate ambiguity here where the pudding might also spell out ‘Noel’.
Even though Biers was quite unhappy with the whole thing, I rather like it, and it is always nice to see these festive pieces. He told me that it is a shortened version of a larger piece that he has an ambition to do. I won’t spoil the surprise, just on case he ever gets time to do the full thing.
At the end of the south tunnel of The Bearpit is this fabulous festive collaboration between Mr Klue on the left and Decay on the right. This is a colourful coming together of two of Bristol’s best abstract graffiti artists, whose styles are markedly different but which somehow works really well.
The colour schemes aren’t matching, and the angular shapes of Mr Klue seem to be at odds with the curvy concentric rings typical of Decay, but as a whole it works, probably because the very fact that it is a collaboration offers a relationship between the pieces and even more so the artists.
An outpouring of Christmas cheer from two of my favourites. Perfect.