4887. Upfest 2022 (61)

Daub, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Daub, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

I have only encountered Daub and his work at festivals, and so I conclude that he rather enjoys them. It would be nice to have him visit Bristol to paint a wall or two, but I just don’t think it is going to happen.

Daub, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Daub, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

The fish eating fish is a familiar motif, but one that is given the Daub treatment, and looks fantastic. Daub tends to draw up his design with a white filled outline, to which the detailed black lines are added with black pen work. The outcome is always spectacular and full of fine detail. Fish and street art, what is not to like?

36. Delay and treachery

Some readers of this blog may not know that it is called Natural Adventures because it was started as a digitisation of a journal I kept during an adventure I had in 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 had spent several weeks at sea on a Japanese squid jigger called the Koei Maru 30, and very much looking forward to some shore leave.

For context, it might be worth reading chapter 1, ‘An ill wind‘.

The full series of posts are in the ‘Falkland Journal, 1988′ category of the Natural Adventures blog, to be read in reverse order (from the bottom up).

Wednesday 13 July 1988. Koei Maru 30

Well, I’m jolly batey (pissed-off) this morning. I have been told that in fact we’re staying out for a day longer than planned because, well, I don’t exactly understand why. Still, it has really pissed me (and many of the crew) off.

There was I this morning thinking that my sampling was the last I was going to do and feeling a little sad about it, when in fact I shouldn’t have done.

Actually, I’m not going to do a sample tomorrow – I’m going to be laid back and do gangion (jargon) counts only! So there!

I have just finished ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ what an incredible end – I never guessed. So Clever. I wish I could create something like that. A most enjoyable book, despite me taking so long to read it.

Thursday 14 July 1988. Koei Maru 30

Once again a miraculous sunrise – if nothing else, I shall miss these when I leave these islands for good.

I have been racing through William Golding’s ‘Rites of Passage’ which is a topical and easy to read book. I am enjoying it.

A small bird (a petrel of some sort – perhaps a white-chinned petrel) (more likely a storm petrel) was sitting in the squid gutter. I took some piccies of it – poor thing is very bedraggled – I don’t know how these birds get in such a state – perhaps it is a disease or something – I don’t know.

Storm Petrel, Koei Maru 30, South Atlantic, July 1988
Storm Petrel, Koei Maru 30, South Atlantic, July 1988

Well, tomorrow we really will be in Stanley and my feet shall embrace terra firma for the first time in 34 days – what a luxury it will be, not to have to compensate for thee rolling of the ship – it is wearisome in the extreme.

A cutting:

Basking shark article, Falkland Islands, July 1988
Basking shark article, Falkland Islands, July 1988

Perhaps the Marine Conservation Society will be relevant to me one day – I hope so – it is a body I admire and would like to be involved with – perhaps I’ll drop them a line.

Friday 15 July 1988. Koei Maru 30/Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

A dull day, but home time. Up early.

So many problems – arrived in Stanley – the crew were all in good spirits.

The meeting with the Fishing Master, JJ (the Falkland Fisheries chief officer), me, Okida (the vessel owner?) and Crag went dismally. JJ insisted on 120 days. What a bloody nightmare. Poor Phil will have to take the brunt of the crew’s discontent.

It is all such a cock up, and working on the KM30 will be a nightmare for observers.

SHIT, I feel like a traitor, and they treated me like one. So sad.

My desk at Fishops, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, July 1988
My desk at Fishops, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, July 1988

I listened to granny’s tape letter – so good to hear all her news. Very sweet. I love her all the more for hearing it.

Went to Sean’s for chops with Phil – got very pissed – Back to Anna and Sean’s and then very, very drunk – a nice welcome home.

Saturday 16 July 1988. Port Stanley, Emma’s Guest House

I’m feeling morose. I have just realised how short my UK leave is. It is depressing. I’m also concerned about the long-lining. I am so angry with the Ice Master, who is being incredibly immature and hurtful – the Fishing Master too.

Phoned home and D and they all sound well. D sounded a little down, I can’t wait to be with her again. I miss her so much – this week will be a trial.

Crag has handed in his notice and will be leaving in late August. This is very sad. After he goes, there’ll only be Sean, Phil, Drin, Dan and Liz. I’m also depressed because I’m going to be spending a lot more time at sea when I come back, on a ship that hates me!

4683. Cheltenham 2022 (6)

Tash Creates, Cheltenham Paint Festival, Cheltenham, July 2022
Tash Creates, Cheltenham Paint Festival, Cheltenham, July 2022

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.

Tash Creates, Cheltenham Paint Festival, Cheltenham, July 2022
Tash Creates, Cheltenham Paint Festival, Cheltenham, July 2022

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.

Krka NP

.

Calm clear waterways

fish gather in shady pools

dragonflies dancing

.

by Scooj

* we had been advised to visit a national park while in the Zadar region, so we did, and despite the huge crowds of tourists and ferocious heat, it was a magnificent experience.

4516. Dean Lane skate park (500)

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.

Sprat, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2022
Sprat, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2022

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.

4464. M32 Cycle path (176)

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, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, May 2022
Sprat, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, May 2022

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.

3839. Muriel Alleyway (6)

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.

Tanith Gould, Muriel Alleyway, Bristol, July 2021
Tanith Gould, Muriel Alleyway, Bristol, July 2021

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.

3804. Gloucester Road

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.

Nina Raines, Gloucester Road, Bristol, June 2021
Nina Raines, Gloucester Road, Bristol, June 2021

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.

3035. Brunel Way bridge (41)

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.

Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020
Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020

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.

Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020
Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020

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 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.

33. Thinking of home

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.

Whiskey and cigarettes, Koei Maru 30, Falkland Islands, 1988
Whiskey and cigarettes, Koei Maru 30, Falkland Islands, 1988

 

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.

My cabin, Koei Maru 30, Falkland Islands 1988
My cabin, Koei Maru 30, Falkland Islands 1988

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!

Processsing deck, Koei Maru 30, Falkland Islands 1988
Processsing deck, Koei Maru 30, Falkland Islands 1988

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!

Sod this!

I miss home, and I’m ultra pissed off and my cabin is too hot and I’m sweating!

Bollocks!

 

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.