829. Leonard Lane (10)

Since I first ‘found’ Leonard Lane about two years ago, I have been back many times to see if there is any new art down there. Sometimes I get lucky, and this was one of those occasions.

Unknown artist, Leonard Lane, Bristol, April 2017
Unknown artist, Leonard Lane, Bristol, April 2017

This is an unusual piece by an unknown artist (please let me know if you know who painted it), who seems to have used the narrow alleyway to practice some outdoor fine art. The reclining woman is nicely painted, but it is the face that steals it for me – really nicely done.

Unknown artist, Leonard Lane, Bristol, April 2017
Unknown artist, Leonard Lane, Bristol, April 2017

It seems incongruous placed alongside graffiti and tags, but somehow it enhances the piece somewhat. A bit like a DIY PichiAvo piece. I would love to know more about this unusual piece, but suspect it will remain a bit of a mystery.

620. Stokes Croft, the Carriageworks (22)

A recent piece by Tom Miller in one of his favourite locations, the arches at the Carriageworks in Stokes Croft. This is a much calmer piece that we are used to from this artist whose surreal style challenges and provokes us. Not so much of the frenetic stuff flying about the place, but we do see a merging of body parts, in this case a hand and the head.

Tom Miller, Stokes Croft, Bristol, January 2017
Tom Miller, Stokes Croft, Bristol, January 2017

It is no secret that I am an admirer of Miller’s work, and have been from the first piece I saw at the same location back in December 2015. This piece plays on ideas, dreams and imaginings…light shining down from an umbrella. All very odd, but interesting to look at. The figure is set against a black background which gives the whole piece a clean appearance.

Tom Miller, Stokes Croft, Bristol, January 2017
Tom Miller, Stokes Croft, Bristol, January 2017

I am very glad that I photographed it when I did, even with the van parked right up against it (illegally I might add) because a day or two later it had been tagged and defaced. Pity.

614. Anchor Road (2)

Well this is the one really, a very very special piece by Andrew Burns Colwill.

In a modest setting behind the Harbourside shops and restaurants stands a container. Painted on the side of the container is one of the best pieces of free street art in Bristol. It is amazing. I have watched as people shuffle past it without looking and then someone will glance at it and recognise what a magnificent work it is. Certainly one of my favourite pieces in Bristol…ever.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

There is an elaborate story unfolding in this picture. In the middle we have two figures sitting at an hourglass table playing a game of chess. One is a modern/future man, the other on the left looks to be ancient Mayan or something like that clutching a scroll. There are remnants of a bridge behind them one side built of wood the other of stone, representing the eras these two characters come from, maybe.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

Then if we zoom out a little we see more of their surroundings. Above them, floating in the air lifted by balloons with faces, is an island with a city – what it represents I am not sure, but some similar motifs were portrayed in Colwill’s Upfest piece from last year. To the right, the ruined stone bridge can be seen in its full glory, and a bomb shell is sticking out of the ground. To the left the bridge becomes closer to its environmental beginnings…more organic, and there are flowers in the foreground.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

Taking another look to the right we observe evidence of civilisation in the form of a stone city on the hill, married with weapons of destruction.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

Further to the right still, soldiers are emerging from a war torn forest – looking like a scene from the Great War.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

To the left hand side we can see pyramids through the mist in the distance, so maybe the red-robed character is ancient Egyptian. On this side too, there are more figures, tribesmen wielding spears lurk in the trees.

Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017
Andrew Burns Colwill, Anchor Road, Bristol, January 2017

The whole piece would be a fine addition to any art gallery, but here it is for all to see if only they would look. I believe the picture to be about the struggle between the environment and our close connection to it and the consequences of progress. Now I am no expert and I haven’t had the pleasure of talking to Colwill so my description and conclusion are based on what I see. What do you see? Have you looked?

369. Whitby Street, Shoreditch, London (1)

There are few things more satisfying than wandering aimlessly around streets you have never walked down before and revelling in the architecture, bustle, characters and of course the street art. On one such recent walk I found this beauty. A stunning portrait by James Cochran or aka Jimmy C.

AKA Jimmy C, Whitby Street, London, August 2016
AKA Jimmy C, Whitby Street, London, August 2016

Aka Jimmy C grew up in Australia and studied visual arts at the University of South Australia before moving to London where he lives now. His very distinctive aerosol pointillist style reminds me of the post-impressionists like Van Gogh or Seurat.

AKA Jimmy C, Whitby Street, London, August 2016
AKA Jimmy C, Whitby Street, London, August 2016

There is always something very special that happens when fine art and graffiti fuse. Another example might be Bristol’s Tom Miller. This particular piece was painted back in 2011 but still looks so very fresh. A great work.

158. The Bearpit (8)

It is Easter Sunday today. I wish you a happy day. This is a recent piece by the extremely prolific Tom Miller. It can be found on the south tunnel end wall of the Bearpit, which is the exact site of another of his recent works featured here.

Tom Miller, The Bearpit, Bristol, March 2016
Tom Miller, The Bearpit, Bristol, March 2016

His ‘imaginite’ concept is in full flow here, combining hard reality with soft imagination. I find his works counselling, and am always excited when I discover a new piece such as this one.

Tom Miller, The Bearpit, Bristol, March 2016
Tom Miller, The Bearpit, Bristol, March 2016

Probably more accustomed to a gallery wall, it looks like Miller really enjoys creating his street pieces.

8/10