I’m not sure that I will ever work out this wall properly. Sometimes pieces will stay on it for months and turnover will be practically zero, other times it can change twice within a week, and I believe that this recent charming triptych by Kool Hand, Conrico and Daz Cat has already been painted over.
The left-hand panel is a wonderful leopard character from Kool Hand, wearing a floppy bucket hat. The fingers appear to be magically zapping the letters KH, and the blue/purple feline is set on a fantasy woodland backdrop, painted by Conrico I would guess.
In the middle is a rather shady looking character shrouded in a cloak and holding a spray can, probably preparing to do a spot of illegal spraying by the look of it. This is a really nicely worked piece by Cobnrico, with some great attention to detail in the creases and folds in the cloak and hat. A classy character.
On the right-hand panel, Daz Cat has departed from his customary cat characters to give us this woodland sprite holding a couple of frogs, one of which is holding a toadstool. I’m not too sure what the smoking head is all about, but this section, in fact the whole thing, definitely has a bit of a dreamy fantasy feel about it. An unusual and entertaining collaboration from three fine graffiti artists.
It would appear that Mommynature and Nugmoose are a cosy collaborating pair, who, together, are turning out some fabulous work at the moment. This is one of several recent collaborations that have appeared in some of the popular graffiti spots in Bristol.
I have noticed that, in common with other collaborative partnerships, when these two paint together, Mommynature (formerly known on Natural Adventures as Frog), tends to paint on the left and Nugmoose on the right. Mommynature returns to he frog character, who is sitting on a log, looking a little ‘tired and emotional’ after a party, as a snail, complete with cigarette, slowly passes by. A lovely story piece from Mommynature.
To the right, is some alien writing from Nugmoose, that we have come to know and love, and parts of the writing are accompanied by alien objects, living or otherwise. The great thing about painting alien life is that it gives you great latitude to imagine, without being constrained by convention. I am loving the collaborations from these two, and look forward to seeing what they can do together this year.
It doesn’t get much better than this. A frog wearing a cowboy hat. Fantastic. This piece is by the artist with no ‘street name’, so for the meantime I am calling her Frog, for obvious reasons.
Frog has painted alongside Nugmoose a couple of times, and his piece is a yard or two away from this one. The frog is nicely painted without sentimentalising the frog’s features. The frog looks like a frog, apart from the cowboy hat. It is not a cartoon representation of a frog. The humour is in the absurdity of a frog wearing a hat and doesn’t rely on a funny frog. Great stuff.
This is not the first time I have seen this pairing on a collaborative wall, and I am sure it won’t be the last. I met them both while painting underneath Brunel Way. I already knew Nugmoose, but it was the first time I met the lady who paints frogs. I asked her what her ‘street art name’ was, but she said she was still working on it, so until I know more, I will call her Frog (see what I did there?).
To the left, Frog has painted a few frogs about the place, and they make a fine addition to the diversity of pieces in Bristol. I believe that she is quite early on in here street art presence and am really looking forward to watching her technique and compositions develop. This is a beauty, and the flowers and hat bring a narrative to the piece, which is a whole lot more than just a frog.
To the right is another weird and mysterious piece from Nugmoose. It must be fun writing alien letters and confusing anyone trying to read them. The alien is proper alien, with no recognisable anthropomorphic features to identify with. These two demonstrate just what a fabulously varied offering we get in Bristol, and how blessed we are to see it all for free.
And here we have yet another first appearance by an artist on Natural Adventures in 2021, this time from Melosh, with this intriguing piece along the M32 cycle path. I have seen plenty of small pieces/tags/characters dotted about the place by Melosh, but this is the largest and most coherent piece I have seen to date.
What’s not to love about a frog on the grog, and one in such a fancy blue shirt? When I saw this piece I liked it instantly. It is nicely finished, slightly zany and brought a smile to my face. I will be including some of his smaller pieces soon, so watch this space. Welcome Melosh.
Something good pretty much always results when these two PWA artists collaborate, which fortunately for us is often, this time under the M32. Soap and Face 1st seem to have a telepathic connection like Pires and Henry (I had to choose Arsenal players, but think of any deadly football partnership and you’ll know what I mean), and their collaborations feel so comfortable and easy if you know what I mean.
I don’t quite get what the story is but there is consistency across the whole collaboration. On the left Soap is the writing of Soap which is filled with a sophisticated array of colours and techniques and is truly a thing of beauty. Soap’s fills just seem to get better and better.
On the right we have a rather unusual Face 1st piece of a girl riding on the back of a cigarette-smoking frog waving a bee on the end of a stick in front. What?!? I must ask him what on earth is going on in this piece next time I see him. Wild, imaginative and wonderful.
I love the work of I Bee W, but feel a bit guilty that I haven’t posted much of his work – there is no reason for this, I just have a few pieces in my archive that never made it out. This poignant piece from the Cheltenham Paint Festival 2019 was always going to get posted as the subject matter chimes with me.
There is a high-gloss quality about this piece, which is remarkable really as it has been sprayed onto chipboard. The image is a sad tale of the disappearance of wildlife through biodoversity loss and climate change, the two most significant issues facing the planet. A little red-eyed tree frog – a representative of life on earth – is saying ‘Bye then!’ as if its existence is a trivial afterthought. Although quite funny, I find this piece and all it represents very depressing. I never thought I would witness first-hand the tipping point, where slowing or reversing biodiversity loss becomes impossible, but all I see around me is an acceleration towards that eventuality. Big changes are needed urgently if we want a beautiful future.
I love it when it happens, when an unannounced collaboration appears as if by magic. This sensational work from Smak and Hazard is one of those special pieces, and I think they have absolutely smashed it.
Smak has again gone for one of his double burners, where he has cleverly crafted two versions of his name into one piece. If you look carefully, there is one in blue and one in mostly orange. Such an accomplished thing to do from an artist who seems to be at the top of his game at the moment.
Then to Hazard’s fabulous frog, which I have to say has come as a huge surprise because I am more used to seeing her portrait pieces. I am a naturalist by training, and I have always had a bit of a soft spot for amphibians, especially frogs, so this piece really chimes with me.
Everything about this frog is good, the colours and the shading and the light reflecting off the body and the eye. Such an unusual piece to find on the streets of Bristol, but a wholly welcome one. More of this kind of thing please! A great collaboration on Upper York Street, so utterly well worth a look.
When I first saw this piece by Marvin or Marlon it was partially covered by a canopy to protect it from the rain/sun and as a result all I could see was the frog. It wasn’t until I returned the following day that I could see the frog in the context of the whole picture.
This is a very clever stencil, with a black and white section showing a shopping trolley abandoned in a wetland and to the right a contrasting full colour stencil of a tree frog. The picture tells a story of environmental degradation and the beauty of nature that is compromised.
The star of the piece though must be the frog, although my photograph doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Another cracker from Marvin or Marlon at Upfest.