I think that I have photographed this column piece by John D’oh pretty much every time I have visited this spot, always with the intention of posting it, but somehow it hasn’t made it onto Natural Adventures. Well it has now, and is a great record of the crazy world we have been living in over the last two years. Capturing pieces like this is to record history as portrayed through the work of some amazing street artists.
John D’oh has sprayed this witty stencil, reminding us to keep our social distancing to 2 metres which roughly translates to Bristol croc’s length. This references many local stories about a Bristol crocodile, thanks in no small part to another fine street artist, Rowdy. The Bristol crocodile story dates back to at least 2014, and relies on repeated sightings of crocodiles in various watercourses. Some are fakes and some are recently ‘dumped’ pet crocodiles that get released irresponsibly. The Bristol crocodile has become quite a thing though.
Not many Christmas pieces, and then (on January 9) two come along at once. This Christmas cheer was brought to you from Sparke Evans Park in the form of this graffiti writing from Biers. I call Biers ‘Biers’ because they were the letters he used when I first started seeing his work. Since then, he has moved through ‘OhYeah’ to his current preferred set of letters ‘WD40’. I still call him Biers though.
The letters can be difficult to pick out, but once you know what they are, you can start to pick them out. As well as the Christmas theme, Biers has also contextualised the piece with a lateral flow Coronavirus test, showing a positive result. It is funny to think that a little over two years ago none of us had ever heard of such a thing, and now it dominates our every waking moment. I guess the ‘Merry Shitmas’ message is linked to the Covid-19 situation. A nicely done piece. Expect to see a whole lot more from Biers as he has been hitting walls with gusto in recent weeks.
* on the news that Simon Case, head of the Civil Service, has ‘recused’ himself from the investigation into 10 Downing Street parties last Christmas, when London was in tier 3 lockdown, because his own team were involved in a Christmas party quiz at the same time. Oh dear! 🎄🎅
I get a real buzz every time I see a piece by Merny. I don’t know why I like his art so much, but I think it is probably a combination of the deliberate naive style combined with humour and originality that really appeals to me. One can become blazé about the high quality writing we see every day in Bristol, but it is impossible to walk past a Merny piece and think that it looks like any other piece of art. It doesn’t.
This is a piece of our times and a commentary on the COVID-testing culture that we live in. There is a sadness and a sense of threat in the piece softened by the style and bright colours. Of course, the little labels make an appearance and add so much to this observational work. A very nice piece from Merny.