4968. Purdown (50)

Kool Hand, Purdown, Bristol, January 2023
Kool Hand, Purdown, Bristol, January 2023

My last visit to Purdown ended up being rather fruitful, which isn’t always the case. I have been up there to walk the dog of late and there has been absolutely nothing worth photographing, that is until now.

Kool Hand, Purdown, Bristol, January 2023
Kool Hand, Purdown, Bristol, January 2023

This is a rather nice crocodile piece by Kool Hand that has a little bit of a story going on. It looks like our croc friend is little hungry, tempted by a swimmer’s feet overhead. A but of fun on a small piece of wartime concrete from Kool Hand.

4937. Spake Evans Park (60)

Face 1st, Kool Hand and Soap, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022
Face 1st, Kool Hand and Soap, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022

I think that 2022 was the most prolific year for Bristol street/graffiti art ever. More artists joined the already large cohort, and it would seem that many of them painted more often than before. Of course, this is counterbalanced a little by the departure of some artists, and others going to ground for sustained periods. Overall, though, it was a bumper year. What this means is that there are way too many great pieces that were left ‘on the cutting room floor’, so the next few posts will be an attempt to dig out some of the pieces I simply didn’t have time to post during the year. Starting in January 2022 with this splendid collaboration between Face 1st, Kool Hand and Soap.

Face 1st, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022
Face 1st, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022

I have a feeling that the reason I didn’t post this at the time is that my first round of photographs were sun/shade impacted – this is a spot to be photographed on dull days. To the left is a typically happy piece from Face 1st, that really set the tone for the joy he spread for the rest of the year.

Kool Hand, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022
Kool Hand, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022

The middle section was painted by Kool Hand, with this really on-point crocodile holding a marker pen. I was chatting with Face 1st earlier this week, and he said that he felt that this piece really demonstrated how Kool Hand had moved up a level, and I would definitely agree.

Soap, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022
Soap, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, January 2022

Finally, (and it is always finally, because Soap always paints on the right-hand side of a collaboration) we have a superbly expressive piece of writing from Soap, one of his very best, in my opinion, with stacks of movement and interest. Even if you can’t quite read his letters, he has signed the piece with his tag three times for good measure. I am so sorry you have had to wait a whole year for this one.

4815. New Stadium Road (43)

Enn Kay is an artist who appeared on the scene about a year ago and has been very busy ever since. His characters can be found all over Bristol, and his artwork improves with each one.

Enn Kay, New Stadium Road, Bristol, November 2022
Enn Kay, New Stadium Road, Bristol, November 2022

Enn Kay’s latest favourite character appears to be this dragon/crocodile figure, which seems to have superseded his octopus character. It is always good to see artists move on and develop ideas, especially character artists who can at times be seduced or locked into producing a single character and adapting it with decoration or colour or details. A nice piece painted during a paint jam in the grubby underpass.

4647. M32 Cycle path (183)

Kool Hand, M32 cycle path Bristol, August 2022
Kool Hand, M32 cycle path Bristol, August 2022

Good morning. Back to work for me today after a fabulous family break. I would be lying if I said I were looking forward to going back to work, and the next few days are going to be particularly tough, but I will get back into the swing of things and do the stuff I do well… and one day I will retire, when we can afford to.

Kool Hand, M32 cycle path Bristol, August 2022
Kool Hand, M32 cycle path Bristol, August 2022

This new piece from Kool Hand has been painted on a section of wall that has remained unchanged for about a year, so it was refreshing to see something new. Kool Hand has been super-busy lately and this is a rather nice piece in four tones (six if you include the background) featuring a crocodile with a roller and Posca pen, out to do his best. The piece is very nicely done, with clever use of shading with tones, and the Clifton suspension bridge in the background is something we all love in Bristol as it gives the work that local flavour. A very nice piece from Kool Hand.

4464. M32 Cycle path (176)

It seems that barely a week goes by without seeing another artist new to the Bristol scene. These artists might be visiting the city, newly moved here, or starting to paint walls for the first time. All are welcome, even if it makes my job of keeping on top of it all even more difficult. This rather refreshing piece was recently painted by Sprat, and I have to say I really rather like it (and not just because of my marine biology background!).

Sprat, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, May 2022
Sprat, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, May 2022

Sprat, making his debut on Natural Adventures, has painted a rather interesting crocodile/fish thing chasing after a sprat with legs. What is happening here, you might wonder, and I am not sure that I can be of much help with that. The pink backdrop works well with the greeny blue colours of the crocofish. The whole thing is really well painted, with great proportions and anatomical details. A very welcome start for Sprat.

4433. Cumberland Basin

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, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2022
John D’oh, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, May 2022

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.

4224. Brunel Way (139)

Painted a little while ago on a column shared with Andy Council is this magnificent crocodile piece from Rowdy. My first photographs of the piece weren’t very good so I have had to delay this post a while until I managed to get something a little better. The light conditions under Brunel Way are always a challenge.

Rowdy, Brunel Way, Bristol, January 2022
Rowdy, Brunel Way, Bristol, January 2022

The bright and contrasting colours of this piece make it stand out, and it certainly grabs your attention, but I am not too sure what the significance of the medieval-style heraldry is all about. The crocodile gives away the artist, and it is always great to see a new Rowdy piece, as they don’t appear all that regularly. This is a fun column piece.

3867. Upfest 2021 75×75 (38)

Nothing from Rowdy for a long while and then two posts in close succession, what joy. Rowdy is held in high regard in Bristol. He is a friend of Banksy and one of the early graffiti artists emerging from the Bristol scene in the 1980s. Probably the biggest public impact that he has made is his trademark crocodile which adorns various buildings around the city.

Rowdy, Redpoint Climbing Centre, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest21
Rowdy, Redpoint Climbing Centre, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest21

This magnificent beast for Upfest’s 75 walls in 75 days festival is the largest and most prominent piece I have seen by Rowdy since his piece in Stokes Croft that came tumbling down with the demolition of buildings around the Carriageworks.

Rowdy, Redpoint Climbing Centre, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest21
Rowdy, Redpoint Climbing Centre, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest21

I am very fond of Rowdy’s crocodiles and other crazy creatures and it is fitting that Upfest should honour him with such a large wall, which just happens to be a perfect fit. Wonderful stuff.

Rowdy and Sweet Toof, The Carriageworks, Bristol, December 2016
Rowdy and Sweet Toof, The Carriageworks, Bristol, December 2016

3853. St Werburghs tunnel (251)

There are goods and there are greats, and Rowdy is a Bristol great. His style might look a little bit ragged and untidy at times, but his ideas and contribution to Bristol modern culture has been incalculable, largely due to his unique crocodiles.

Rowdy, St Werburghs, Bristol, July 2021
Rowdy, St Werburghs, Bristol, July 2021

This wonderful example was painted during the Funday Sunday event a few weeks back alongside many other Bristol greats. The trademark crocodile patrols the murky waters while a bad flits by in the moonlight. It doesn’t happen often, so finding a Rowdy piece is always exciting.

2976. Stapleton Road

You don’t get to see too many pieces on the street from Rowdy these days, so finding one is a bit of a treat. Rowdy is responsible for one of the most iconic characters in Bristol street art, the toothy crocodile. Anyone living in the Stokes Croft area will remember fondly the crocodile on the top of the Carriage Works that looked over North Bristol, sadly knocked down last year.

 

Rowdy, Stapleton Road, Bristol, May 2020
Rowdy, Stapleton Road, Bristol, May 2020

This somewhat smaller beast is modestly tucked away at the foot of a column under the new railway bridge on Stapleton Road, and I only found it because a Face 1st piece opposite it caught my eye as I was driving past the other day. Who doesn’t love a Rowdy crocodile?

Rowdy and Sweet Toof, The Carriageworks, Bristol, December 2016
Rowdy and Sweet Toof, The Carriageworks, Bristol, December 2016