When street art and fish come together it generally makes me very happy. This was one of the first pieces I saw at the Cheltenham Paint Festival and it set the tone of high-interest and high-quality pieces in the town. The colourful piece is by Tash Creates, a self taught artist from Hertfordshire.
The design and proportions of the piece are first class, although of course it is an imaginary fish. It is funny how we can paint or draw a fish, and everyone knows it is a fish, and yet it isn’t a fish we have ever seen before, if you know what I mean. Anyhow, I think it is sufficient to say that I really like this piece. It would be great to see Tash Creates visit Bristol some time.
A little bit of a milestone today for Natural Adventures – this is the 500th post from Dean Lane skate park, and we mark it with a small and slightly weird piece from Sprat. Any fish-based street art will always get my seal of approval, and there is something about the bonkersness of this piece that really tickles me.
This is only the second piece I have posted by Sprat, but I am certain that there will be many more to come. The fish has legs and is running. It is quite a straightforward piece, contained within a black border. I think the impact of the piece that it is an unusual image, out of the ordinary, and therefore eye-catching. The location on a raised section of wall also adds to the quirkiness of it. I’ll be on the lookout for more from Sprat.
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, 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.
I have lost count of the total number of new artists I have written about this year, but it is dozens, and each and every one of them brings something new and exciting to the city of Bristol. This superb piece, looking great in the sunshine, is by Tanith Gould, who painted it alongside a piece in the same colour scheme by Yoliws a few weeks ago.
I don’t know much about Tanith Gould, but have done a little digging and have found out that she is a fine artist from Falmouth (a town close to my heart) who works in paint, film and photography… well she can now add murals to her list with this beautiful piece. Hands are always tricky to carry off in street art, and many artists really struggle with them, but Tanith Gould has pulled it off with aplomb here. There is a lot of symbolism going on in the piece with fungus and fish cupped in the palms of the hands. I don’t know what it all means, but there is surely a story to tell here. I hope that Tanith Gould makes a speedy return to the city to show off more of her great work.
The wet fish shop on Gloucester Road is a bit of a landmark, and certainly you always know when you are walking past it. At weekends and in the evenings you might get lucky and see the shop when the shutters are down and enjoy this fishy mural from Nina Raines.
Although the piece has been here for some time, I only recently walked past it at the right time with a camera handy. As a marine biologist (by training and in my heart) I love seeing marine themed street art and these lobsters, crab and mackerel are just the ticket. Something of a contrast with Nina’s wonderful collaboration piece on the dental practice in Bedminster, showing off her versatility.
Possibly the most difficult piece I have tried to photograph. This is a magnificent column piece by the wonderful Skor85 who organised a small paint jam last weekend under Brunel Way. She had invited various folks along via FB Messenger and so I was able to get along and get some WIP pictures.
Before I say anything else, I have to share that Skor85 is without doubt the nicest and most enthusiastic street artist I know and when I arrived she made me feel so welcome and seemed genuinely pleased to see me, which after months of lock down felt really good.
Her piece is all about balance, equality and unity which is an understandable theme in these troubling and uncertain times. Two fish sitting on a set of balance scales illustrate this theme and remind me a little of Al Gore’s film ‘Inconvenient Truth’ where he puts the earth and money on either side of a scale and poses the question ‘which is more important’. I digress.
Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020
Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020
Skor85 has a lovely touch to her artwork that almost looks like brush strokes rather than spraycan art. I have always liked her work and can’t wait to see more as the summer unfolds.
Some readers of this blog may not know that it is called Natural Adventures because it was started as a digitisation of adventure I had to the Falkland Islands in 1988 when I was a young man. I was a fisheries scientist working for the Falkland Islands Government and at this point in the Journal was out at sea on a Japanese squid jigger called the Koei Maru 30.
For context it might be worth reading chapter 1, ‘An ill wind‘.
Previous chapters (in reverse chronological order) are listed here.
The adventure continues…
Sunday 3 July 1988. Koei Maru 30
Today I had a lovely lie in – woken by the bell some time around 5am and then by the generator at about 6.15 or so. What it means of course is that I shan’t be able to sleep again tonight.
A bird is on the deck, seemingly knackered, perhaps dying – I gave it some fish livers which it is eating quite happily. I hope it lives – I may take a piccie.
It is a dolphin gull and I think it has thrown in the towel – poor thing – I wish there was more I could do for it.
Watched Lethal Weapon (4th time) ace film, and smoked loads of ciggies and drank lots of beer and whiskey and am now ready for bed. I miss Deb so much – especially now when I know ‘home time’ is only three weeks away.
Monday 4 July 1988. Koei Maru 30
One year ago today we sat in the Annex (one of the residences at Bangor University where the overseas students lived) garden stuffing ourselves with home made beefburgers and cake and chicken and potato salad and beer and wine and it was a lot of fun – fighting off the mozzies as the chill of the summer evening set in, lighting fireworks and basically having a good time.
I will never forget Moyo’s dancing or Pia’s shirt. Andy Brooks threw a good party and I was happy. How can it all be a year ago? It seems so unfair that life slips by like this.
Life is sometimes a big disappoitment – never waste it, remember it and live the memories, enjoy them – they’re all we have when we die. Memories are all that is left. I remember Jeremy Jones with a good heart – he lives on in my mind. So sad. I shed a tear every now and then. How can he be gone? That’s it, he’s over.
My seagull has disappeared – I pray that it lived and flew off.
Sleep once again accompaned by a wee dram of scotch.
Slept well for a change (probably the five steaks!).
Tuesday 5 July 1988. Koei Maru 30
Spoke to Liz on the blower.
I should be getting back to Port Stanley round about the 17th or so, but in looking at this I realise that it is a Sunday, so it will have to be the 15th or the 18th – it will be fun breaking the news to the Fishing Master!
I must be barmy bonkers.
Wrote a letter to Deb in which I told her that I smoke now,
God I wish I didn’t – my lungs now are burning and full of shit. I am in very poor condition. I dislike myself at the moment.
I wish I was home – I wish I didn’t have this blasted job.
Sod the expeience!
I miss home, and I’m ultra pissed off and my cabin is too hot and I’m sweating!
Wednesday 6 July 1988. Koei Maru 30
Slept terribly, only to wake up this morning and celebrate a day of no fishing. What makes today even better is the fact that we are sheltering from the rough seas in the shadow of Pebble Island.
I therefore am relatively happy
Very little else to write about – these non-working days are very long indeed.
Another fine collaboration, this time from Conrico and Crafty Cicada, with a strong oriental theme going on. While I have posted many pieces by Conrico, this is the first from Crafty Cicada who I can only presume was on a visit to Bristol and kindly left us this beautiful work.
The left hand side of the collaboration is unmistakably by Conrico and as always is more than just a piece of artwork because his work always has such a strong narrative, a story going on. In this piece a cartoon character is serenely sitting cross-legged, as if meditating on the back of a very large catfish – so what’s the story?
The other half of this collaboration by Crafty Cicada is an altogether more stylised with a fish (of unknown genus and species), a rising sun, some bamboo and some Japanese Kanji characters. There is a peace and tranquility here, and on seeing this, I would be very interested to see more from the artist.
A lovely and unexpected collaboration on a wall favoured by Conrico.