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

2931. M32 Spot (67)

This is another piece from a little while ago on a column under the M32 by Kool Hand. This artist has done a few pieces at this M32 spot in recent years, and often pairs up with Daz Cat for his sessions.

Kool Hand, M32 Spot, Bristol, July 2018
Kool Hand, M32 Spot, Bristol, July 2018

Kool Hand has created a rather dashing crocodile kitted out with hoodie and trainers and clasping a spray can in his tail. I like the way Kool Hand works, with strong outlines and clean solid fills. A nice piece.

2374. M32 roundabout J3 (158)

It is always most satisfying to witness great collaborative partnerships, and in Bristol there are quite a few of these, for example; SledOne and Smak, Laic217 and Cort, Rezwonk and Decay, Kid Crayon and SPzero76 and here we have another pairing who seem to enjoy each other’s company, Kool Hand and Daz Cat.

Kool Hand, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2019
Kool Hand, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2019

Kool Hand is not as prolific as I would like him to be so I don’t get to see too much of his work. What I like about his style is the clean lines and solid fills and of course the subject of his pieces which pretty much always seem to be animal-related. In this piece a crocodile is spraying the initials KH, and why not.

Daz Cat, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2019
Daz Cat, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2019

Daz Cat is another artist whose work I’d like to see a lot more of. Unusually, in this piece we see the full body of a cat, fully clothed with a neckerchief, lilac shirt and green trousers. The cat seems to be in a meditative pose, and looks a lot gentler than some of the cats Daz Cat paints. A nice collaboration from this pair at the M32 roundabout.

 

 

 

 

2328. Wilder Street (34)

The cream always rises to the top they say and this little collaboration from Inkie and Rowdy was put together for this year’s St Paul’s carnival is right up there. It is high-time this wall was repainted and these two have done a great job.

Inkie and Rowdy, Wilder Street, Bristol, July 2019
Inkie and Rowdy, Wilder Street, Bristol, July 2019

The crocodile across the top is the trademark emblem used by Rowdy and can be found all over the city, although a great number of them have sadly disappeared. The writing from Inkie is actually rather beautiful, and I am guessing needs to be read out with a bit of a West Indian lilt. Fine collaboration.

1881. Upfest 2018 (100)

My hundredth post on Upfest 2018 and I have been saving this piece to mark the occasion. Sometimes in this game you get to see something very special, and when I heard that Odeith was coming to the festival I had high hopes. This piece not only met, but far exceeded my expectations, and it was a real privilege to see this master of anamorphic street art at work.

Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

I have seen a lot of Odeith’s work on social media, most of it of insects and spiders stretched across a corner, but this is the first time I have seen anything on three walls and under water. The effect is quite astonishing and how well it plays tricks with your eyes and mind. Even with the artist standing in the middle of the space, disrupting the effect, it still looks amazing.

Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The water level is so brilliantly devised that it feels like the viewer is swimming about a foot or so under the surface, and the water distorts the back of the scene where the crocodile’s head breaks the surface.

Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Odeith, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The walls of the tank are composed of large stone block letters, spelling out ODEITH. Not only is the concept of this piece extraordinary, but the skill and attention to details, light, shade texture and so on is second to none. I think that in most people’s eyes, this was the piece that stole the show. A technical masterpiece.

1858. M32 roundabout J3 (102)

Hurrah – I just love it when paint jams are held on this wall. There is clearly some organising that goes on to buff the entire length of wall in a common colour and for all the artists to share a colour scheme. This is the first of several posts from this particular recent gathering and I chose to start with Rowdy, because it is a while since I posted any of his work.

Rowdy, M32 roundabout, Bristol, November 2018
Rowdy, M32 roundabout, Bristol, November 2018

One of the godfathers of Bristol street art, Rowdy shows us the way with a stack of his trademark crocodiles that can be found scattered all over the City. A simple concept stylishly presented and emblematic of the Bristol scene. I love this piece, and just take a look at the detail in the eyes. What does it al mean?