At the Ashton Gate Upfest site, which was opened up for the first time in 2017, there was a very long wall running down the entire side of the stadium. Certain sections of this wall were allocated to crews, who sprayed together to create their pieces. This one is by Kid Crayon who was joining up with the Lost Souls crew and Eat.
I am a big fan of Kid Crayon’s work, and it was his wheatpastes that originally stoked my interest in Bristol street art in the first place, so I have a lot to thank him for. This is a wonderful and colourful piece of a big fish in a sardine can. I don’t know the meaning of the piece, but I know I like it a lot.
Anything to do with fish tends to tick my box, so street art with a fish is a bit of a bonanza.
The light in these images is a bit wishy washy, and doesn’t do this lovely mural by Meghan O’Malley justice at all. The mural wasn’t up for long, before it was overpainted, so I am pleased to have been able to see it, especially as it features three magnificent fish.
I had to do a little research to find out more about the artist, and it turns out she is a murallist living in Bristol. A quick glance at her website should convince you that she is a highly accomplished artist who has an eye for the surreal. This fish piece however is simply beautiful.
Having recently graduated in Drawing and Applied Arts from the University of the West of England (UWE), I very much hope to see more of her work on the streets in the near future. Definitely one to look out for.
I have just attended a communications conference in Bristol, at which I found out that this piece and two others in The Bearpit were part of a campaign organised by Wild Walls (part of Wildscreen) and that these three fish mimic the recycling icon. All good, except that I found this out by chance. My feeling is that campaign pieces need better calls to action, or they risk being lost in the white noise.
One of the classiest pieces in The Bearpit for a little while appeared just over a week ago and took up the entire length of ont of the north side entrance ramp. This stunning piece is a collaboration between Sled One and Epok. As is often the case with work like this, the photographs really don’t do it justice and I would urge Bristolians to get down to The Bearpit to see it for themselves.
There is a strong message here about the damage being done to our oceans by plastics – don’t get me going on this subject, because it vexes me because the torrent of pastic, large and microscopic, will kill off life in our oceans unless urgent action is taken. We sure know how to goof up our planet.
The artwork in this piece is exquisite and incredibly detailed, just take a look at the pectoral fins of the fish above, to see how much work has gone into the colourse ripples and folds of the fins.
Them whole thing is cleverly constructed, combining some abstract elements with life studies, but the whole effect is one of movement and swirling currents.
It would be great to hear from the artists themselves what inspired them to do this piece. It is possible that it was a commission, but by whom I wonder. Next time I see Sled One, I’ll have to ask him.
All in all a great piece and beautiful gift to the people of Bristol. Now, reduce that plastic waste!
This is another of my infrequent posts which is what Natural Adventures was originally set up for. For those of you unfamiliar with my Falkland Islands journal I will offer a quick recap. In 1988 I landed a job as a fisheries scientist working with the Falkland Islands Government on a contract just shy of a year. This blog is a faithful digitisation of the journal I wrote on that trip. For me, this is a catharsis, for you it may be an insight into the mind of a 24 year old on an exciting and challenging adventure.
The scene is set in the first post ‘An Ill Wind‘, which you might like to read for context.
Suday 26 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
Aah, at last a day off. I slept so terribly, the rough sea rolled me about something rotten. It is a little better now, but would have been terrible if we had tried a set (setting the longline) this morning.
I think my stomach bugs are caused by the sashimi! my body just isn’t used to it. I must confess that the raw tuna is excellent.
Wrote letters to Mum and Ad and to Deb.
I have been considering a reply to Karen’s rather frustrated letter in which she seems to ask ‘what are we doing here?’ or something similar.
I’ve thought of many answers, but some may seem a little brutal, and sinceshe thinks I am a brute anyway I don’t want to upset her again.
Began to write my schedule for other scientists (I refuse to call them observers) who will work on the KM30 while I am on leave, namnely Crag and Phil.
I am still furious about my tax position with PDA – this company seems to be nothing but trouble.
Monday 27 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
A beautiful sunrise – I wonder if I will see such lovely sights again when I return to the UK – for starters I don’t think I will ever be up in time!
I hear Africa calling
Possibly cos I’m listening to African Sanctus at this moment.
Some more pretty corals today – I should be able to build up quite a good collection.
Several albatross were caught up in the lines today – I think they go for the squid bait when the line is deployed and get caught up, dragged down and drown – it is very sad indeed. I also thought it was unlucky to kill an albatross, but maybe that is only if it is intentional.
Not long now ’til home.
Tuesday 28 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
I’m getting sick and tired of saying long, tiring day, but today really was – I hope I get some decent sleep.
Had a good radio chat with Elizabeth today – she’s also due for a break in August. She gets two holidays in the time I’ve only had one! RAW DEAL!
The fishing was ace today – I hope it puts egg on the Fishing Master’s face – the crew were working fairly close to capacity I reckon.
5 tons/day, yeah pull the other one shortie!
Zone IV has been the best covered so far – all this is quite a laugh really.
Wrote a letter to Beth – very sweet of her, Charlie and Carl to write, but thwen I suppose I did write first. Letters are my life-blood.
Watching ‘With love from Oregon ’87’ for the third time – what a terrible drama, but a gorgeous half Indian (red) (OMG – we don’t say that these days – native north American) half Japanese girl of about 16 in the starring role.
I now feel at ease with all but two of the crew – ‘Rolf Harris’ and Iagi – they don’t seem to want to be friendly. I’ve made good friends with the grumpy old man – he’s really quite a good bloke.
Aah – shower and bed – nice.
Wednesday 29 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
A short day – it became too rough to set more than 60 lines (baskets). It was all over by 7.30am. So I decided to sleep, to make up for lost sleep last night – unfortunately this means that I won’t be tired and won’t be able to sleep tonight – vicious circle.
It’s funny but however hard I try I just can’t conjure up any original thoughts – I have none, so my diary becomes a dull, dreary account of my days and not an abstract random selection of my thoughts. I hope the reader (if any) will bear with me. It must be obvious that I’m not very happy at the moment, perhaps this can explain sume of this mundainity (is there such a word?).
As I write I often wonder if any of my children or grandchildren (if I have any) will pick up my diaries and read them. Perhaps they will understand me better for it and see into who I am a little more clearly.
Just a quick recap – This blog ‘Natural Adventures’ was set up so that I could digitise a journal I wrote while working in the Falkland Islands in 1988. The Haiku and street art took over completely, but every now and then I like to get back to my roots. For any readers who have not seen any of this Falkland stuff before, it is worth getting some context from my first post ‘An Ill Wind’.
Wednesday 22 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
I think I have a slight stomach bug – I am not sure of the cause – it causes only a little pain, but it’s there. Today will be a long day again, 450 lines deployed. Wrote letter No 49 to Deb. That isn’t bad, 49 letters and cards in 106 days since I’ve been here. Admittedly, they aren’t as long as they were, but they still keep coming (going).
The Desire (one of the patrol vessels) came – yahoo – and delivered loads of letters and papers – I am glowing. It has been a very good day.
A school of dolphins passed by and I took some snaps, some new fish came up, I got some lovely corals and a hairy winkle (pardon?!).
The fish, the best one, unfortunately ended up as sashimi.
I now smell really fishy!
All my doubts and fears about Deb have cleared away – I’m a happy bunny – Mum and Karen and granny’s letters are all ace. I still want to get home though.
Thursday 23 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
My stomach bug continues, but it is mild. My shit is like liquid ‘caramac’, but not quite so tasty I’m sure.
It has bee an idyllic day – calm and sunny – loads of photos (none very good)
The catch has been good – I would guess at about 2.5 to 3 tonnes of Kingu (Kingclip). I hate this work and I want to go home – all my letters (which I received yesterday) are now haunting me. I don’t think I’m content here – I could not live this way for the rest of my life.
My last duty of the day (changing my camera film and sticking the slide reference number in my journal) before showering and turning in. These days are so long, I don’t have much time for reading or letters – a shame really, but it is good that I am occupied.
Saw some ace penguins hop out of the sea Vertically onto a patch of floating kelp. It was very funny. I thought I was in for a superb sunset, but I was wrong.
Friday 24 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
My bug seems to be over, which is a relief. So many birds today.
What I’m thinking right now is why do I get spots?
Now I know ‘Queen Mab’ properly. Now to set about the whole part of Mercutio. Will I ever achieve it?
Amongst my letters was one from Granny G. She had sent me a tape, but I never received it, which is a terrible shame – it would have had all the family news in it. I still don’t know if Simon and Sue are married yet. Nobody has mentioned it to me. (Reading this paragraph now in 2017 rather breaks my heart. I would love to hear my grandmother’s voice on a tape trapped in that year of 1988.)
29 days and I’ll be home! yahoo. Until then I wait.
My cabin is a tip – I love it like this – my papers and magazines all over the floor, a full bin, folders strewn everywhere. A mixture of work and leisure.
Saturday 25 June 1988. Koei Maru 30
I may as well use up this space (alongside an article I stuck in my journal) it seems such a waste otherwise. A beautiful sun rise but not a beautiful day. It is choppy, the waves are cutting across our path and the ship is rolling like billyo.
So many people have said how vivid my letters are – I can;’t believe them. Frankly I think they are dull, uninteresting and badly written, but there we are.
Yuk! I’ve just disposed of a tin of custard down my gob – in times of hardship one loses all self-pride – It’s so true.
I forgot to mention that I am now an expert in chopstick (hachi) management. Pretty bloody cool.
I first saw this mural at Upfest 2016, but wasn’t sure who it was by or whether it was a festival piece. It turns out that it is by the magnificent Andrew Burns Colwill and it was not his Upfest piece, but a commission.
Colwill is a truly brilliant artist with a very colourful history, who has just completed a magnificent exhibition entitled ’20/50 Vision: Tomorrow’s Habitat’ at the It’s All 2 Much Gallery in Stokes Croft. The works place some of our most treasured species into future places where all is not as it should be. A global warming/pollution warning to us all.
This piece is altogether more mainstream, and for a marine biologist like me a real treat.