Once again I find myself in unfamiliar territory presenting a beautiful collaboration in Barcelona without knowing a single thing about it. Writing about street art away from home is a challenging enterprise and one that requires research time that I have difficulty freeing up. I seem to be much happier improvising my copy when writing about Bristol street art. What I am clumsily saying is that I am way out of my comfort zone with this one.
Firstly I goofed taking pictures of this collaboration between ‘Bumble and Worm’ and Meisone – I don’t have an image with both of the fish side by side. My bad.
The fish on the left is by Bumble and Worm who are Sarah Charlotte Watson and and David Goode Hill, who I think are a couple and collaborate as B&W. They are from Mallorca, although they sound like expats to me.
The fish on the right is by Meisone, a Chilean artist living in Barcelona. Regular readers will know that I am particularly partial to fish street art, tapping into my marine biologist roots, and this collaboration ticks all my boxes.
There were many fine collaborations at Upfest last year, but few of them were finer than that between Hannah Adamasek and Saroj. I have written many times about Hannah’s work, but don’t believe I have come across Saroj before.
In the Upfest programme there is a really nice profile for Saroj Patel, and rather than paraphrase it, I have decided to offer it in full:
Saroj is a designer and artist whose practice encompasses illustration, painting, graphic design, typography and art direction. Nature is a compelling part of her work which incorporates decorative arrangements of organic forms, flora, and wildlife, creating a distinctive hand drawn style which displays a fluidity of movement through the use of patterns, lines and colour.
Saroj draws inspiration from exploring the natural and built environments around her, from wandering city streets to hiking in forests and mountains, capturing moments of stillness and chaos, embracing and absorbing the beauty in every moment.
I like this aquatic piece that places a swimmer in a setting of plants and fish, resulting in a rather atmospheric and fresh piece.
I was lucky enough to visit this piece, which was in the beer garden of the Steam Crane, several times over the festival and it is interesting to see how it developed. I am hoping that both will return this year.
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!