3616. Cumberland Basin

Here we have a classic Face 1st piece. A wall tucked away from general view and a chuckling girl’s face splashed on it. It is pieces like this, dotted all over the city that add to the overall fabric of Bristol. Sub-consciously, many thousands of people in Bristol will have seen one of these faces, they might not have registered them, but they will have seen them, and they will process them simply as being part of the furniture of the city.

Face 1st, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, April 2021
Face 1st, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, April 2021

Somehow, Face 1st injects a sense of fun and mischief into his work that comes across so well. These cheeky girls probably play slightly into the hands of subversive minds (it is graffiti after all), but are entirely accessible for all to enjoy and feel free. This one is a particularly lovely ecxample.

3603. Cumberland Basin

Another interesting piece from Big Hev who seems to be having a great time experimenting with spraying walls about the city. Her work is still quite naive, but there is a definite style emerging and with practice I’m sure she will emerge as yet another fine Bristol wall artist.

Big Hev, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, March 2021
Big Hev, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, March 2021

In a move away from her portraits, this piece ‘you can’t hide our smiles’ features a seahorse in an orange circle, surrounded with love hearts. Her work is bold and colourful and there is a lot of energy there. Her skills and technique with the spray paint will develop over time, but so far watching her progress is hugely enjoyable.

3591. Cumberland Basin

I have only seen three pieces by Hanski, and this one is a little different from the other two. Tucked away in a bit of a hole, this piece will be missed by many, which is a pity. It is an unusual and unconventional piece, blending the abstract with a face.

Hanski, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, March 2021
Hanski, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, March 2021

The colours are eye-catching and certainly command attention. I think that this is a great beginning from Hanski and hitting walls is the first step in building up confidence and capability (something I haven’t yet had the courage to do). I wonder where her adventure will take us next.

3577. Cumberland Basin

I am going to be honest with you. My excitement at finding this collaboration piece by Nugmoose and Mudra was a little offset by the rather creepy and unsettling nature of the images. Nugmoose likes to experiment with alien forms and Mudra’s work is always pushing creative boundaries. The result in this case is decidedly odd, and the location slightly dingy.

Nugmoose and Mudra, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, March 2021
Nugmoose and Mudra, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, March 2021

Having said all that is it great that these two, and Slakarts too, have hit upon a friendship that is highly productive just at the moment. In this piece, Nugmoose’s figure is being drawn towards a hand clutching some flowers. The monster appears to have lost its eyes and is navigating its way forward using the sense of smell. Is that what is going on here? A weird piece, but a nice one to have found.

3463. Cumberland Basin

I can’t recall seeing these two collaborating before, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, simply that my memory doesn’t serve me as well as it used to. Sepr and Acer One is a partnership that I wouldn’t have predicted, as their styles are very contrasting, but this new wall is Cumberland Basin is absolutely spiffing.

Acer One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021
Acer One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021

The central section is by Acer One and is an amazingly technical piece of writing, based on a geometric design style for which he is known. Standing up close, it is near impossible to work out what these letters say, but by stepping back, the brain interprets it more easily and it says ‘More Love’ – I don’t think any of us can argue with that.

Sepr, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021
Sepr, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021

The central panel is bookended by two exquisite characters from Sepr. On the left is a devilish Cupid whose love arrows are finding mischief, in particular with a seagull who appears to be smitten.

Sepr, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021
Sepr, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021

To the right a female Cupid character is also firing love arrows across the piece. I don’t quite know what these two characters symbolise, but they are brilliantly painted and a lot of fun. Maybe they are a representation of the frustrations of lockdown and our distance from our loved ones.

All in all a superb collaboration and well worth a visit.

Sepr and Acer One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021
Sepr and Acer One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021

3459. Cumberland Basin

A few years ago, it was the wheatpastes of Kid Crayon that fired up my curiosity about street art, but they are not common in Bristol, so whenever I find one it is always cause for celebration.

Mudra, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021
Mudra, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021

Mudra arrived in Bristol last year and immediately made an impact with several of his characteristic face pieces and writing. Now, if you hunt around in the Cumberland Basin you will find this beauty ‘data muncher’ which I very much hope is the first of many wheatpastes from him. Classy.

3439. Cumberland Basin

As gentrification in the city picks up pace, traditional graffiti hot spots are becoming fewer and fewer – there is often a stay of execution while hoardings go up around a development, but eventually these come down revealing pristine new student accommodations or other unaffordable housing, inappropriate for the communities that live near these developments. One of the knock-on effects is that the turnover of street art/graffiti on the remaining walls has increased considerably. This wall in the Cumberland Basin is a great example of a wall that is changing more and more frequently.

Slakarts, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020
Slakarts, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020

Slakarts gives us a double-vision version of his smiling three-quarter profile mega-tag in this happy piece alongside Rezwonk, just to the right. Slakarts has been turning these out on a reasonably regular basis over the last six months or so but they all face the same direction – it would be interesting to see if he could replicate them looking the other way. There is something quite seductive about this piece – it is unusual and set in a vibrant context. Expect more like this before too long.

3420. Cumberland Basin

It has been way, way too long since I last saw a piece from Laic217. He had a burst of activity during our first lockdown, but after that has been fairly invisible on the streets, which is a pity. Somehow he epitomises the Bristol scene with his irreverent skull pieces. Edgy but also brilliantly painted, together with a range of textures and subjects helps Laic217 stand out from the crowd routinely.

Laic217, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, Jnuarty 2021
Laic217, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, Jnuarty 2021

This monster piece, on the long wall in Cumberland Basin, features a hoodie-wearing skeleton using a flame-bearing spray can, a theme regularly used by the artist. Simple colours and a sketch-like quality belie the skill in this piece. The bubble writing in the background belongs to this piece and spells out PAD, the crew which includes Cort, whose piece was adjacent to this one. Hurrah!

3384. Cumberland Basin

It would seem that Smak rarely stops producing first-class pieces for us to marvel at, and he does this in between commissions. This is an artist at the top of his game who manages to do what he loves every day both in a work context and for his own leisure. Perfect.

Smak, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020
Smak, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020

These pictures were taken during incredibly heavy rain and while I was in an incredibly hurry, but the blurry look of the piece is not an artefact of the conditions, rather it is the piece itself and the way it has been sprayed.

A short post today because I have to start preparing for our Christmas meal. Season’s greetings to you all.

3381. Cumberland Basin

I am writing this on Christmas Eve Eve (last night) and really ought to be asleep, so please excuse typos or nonsense. I have Paul H to thank for this post. Last week I had been down to the river to check out Brunel Way and to walk the dog. On the way back to the car I bumped into Paul and we chatted for a while under darkening skies. I jumped into the car to head over to Dean Lane and then the heavens opened. Just as I got back to the car, Paul called me and said I simply had to get over to the other side of the river by the Create Centre to see a whole bunch of new stuff. I was reluctant because of the rain, and I had to get back to work to chair a Zoom meeting. I had just enough time and braved the weather. It was so worth it too. This is the first piece from a fabulous paint jam from the day before.

Ments, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020
Ments, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020

Ments has always been a favourite of mine because of his organic, abstract writing style of which this is a perfect example. It would seem I got there just in time, because such was the force of the rain that some of the paint was running (can that happen?). Thanks Paul, thanks Ments, fabulous piece.