One of the real privileges of the last year or so has been to witness the emergence of so many new street artists in Bristol, and even more exciting is that roughly half of them are female and are absolutely smashing it. There almost seems to be a new school of female artists loosely linked and bringing their own particular colourful blend of art. Exciting times.
One of these artists is Tao.create whose beautiful trapeze artist is still adorning one of the columns at the M32 Spot. This looks like a practice piece to me although it is difficult to say. Tao.create seems to love the body form and has a great skill for portraying movement. Equally clever is the absence of facial features which helps to focus our gaze on the whole body shape. I love the understated nature and location of this piece. I can’t wait to see more.
I think this piece was painted way back in October last year, but I only recently photographed it when I ventured down into this spot. I have noticed that there are some new pieces visible from the slip road and that I really ought to get myself down there again soon.
This intricate piece of graffiti writing from Claro_que_sssnoh spells out SNOH is an absolute stunner, and there are so many elements in it to admire. The letters are elaborate and composed of two colours, plus outlines, tracking the curves and lines. The whole thing is set on an orange and red bubble background which is in tuning set on a black and white grid. Technically this is a belter, and it looks pretty good too.
There are some pieces that will have very limited audiences, and this is one of them. Soap has painted one of his trademark smiley mouth-skull pieces on the back of a pillar under the M32 overlooking the River Frome. The only way of getting to see it is by dropping down under the motorway and walking along the reinforced bank of the River Frome. It can’t even be seen from the overlooking M32 Spot.
One might ask why paint something that so few people will see, but that might be missing the point a bit about the motivations behind why graffiti and street artists do what they do. It tends to be for the love of doing it. This is a particularly nice example of his mouthy face, with a lovely yellow background and sharp lines with some nice fills. The white highlights work really well to give it that 3D lift. A great column piece.
This is not the first piece that I have seen by Ugloe, but it is the first to appear on Natural Adventures. I will dig out some of the others soon. Ugloe has only recently come into my line of sight but her work is bright, bold and enriched with little characters, especially dogs, which can only be a good thing. I met her a week or two back when she was painting a piece on the M32 cycle path. Unfortunately when I returned to photograph it had been over-painted.
There was less chance of this more recent piece being over painted because of the accessibility of the Frome side spot, so I got to see this lovely piece in all its glory. The block letters are beautifully filled in a multicolour fusion and the piece is pulled together nicely with a reclining figure and little dog. A quality piece from Ugloe and the first of many on this blog, I’m certain.
The Frome side spot is marginally less accessible than most of the other regular spots in Bristol and certainly feels a little more edgy for an old codger like me, but the rewards are definitely worth the effort.
On a recent visit I picked up a whole load of new pieces, including this one from Dabuten Tronko – it is a bit of a beast. Unfortunately the light conditions weren’t favourable for photographing this wall and there is quite a lot of glare. I wonder if dusk might be a better time to visit. The skull and skeleton are nonetheless very nicely done, complete with yellow teeth.
What I assume to be guts form the letters HMR which is the crew of Spanish artists who are becoming so firmly established in the City. The thin green outline is brilliant and helps make the whole thing stand out. Another fine piece from Dabuten Tronko whose work often seems to be slightly off the radar.
I managed to get out to do some street art photography during the Christmas break without the dog. That meant that I could clamber down into the Frome side spot, which is behind and below the M32 Spot, with only my own safety to think about. The trip was well worth it, and I expect to post several pieces from this cavernous location in the coming weeks. One of the first pieces I saw was this rather nice burner from Conrico which I believe he had only painted the day before, so I was there at just the right time.
For one reason or another I haven’t seen much Conrico work for the last few months. I think he has been painting a fair bit, but just not in the places that I tend to go to. The piece was painted during a particularly wet couple of days and is a warming fire set in a stormy sea kind of background. I like the piece very much, it has an untamed feel about it, bursting with colour and emotion. The message ‘F*ck the rain away’ tells its own story of frustration. Great to find.
It is possible to access some fine walls and columns (I call the location Frome side) where this piece from Mudra is, but I don’t like to go down there on my own, just in case I slip and fall into the river, so I have to make do with photographing things through railings from the skate spot.
Of all the newcomers to Bristol this year, I think that Mudra has been the most productive, and he has been quick to find several of the great spots for spray-painting around the city. This is one of his colourful, capped characters that is so typically Mudra. Although he has his little @ tag, he doesn’t need to use it because his style is so unique and recognisable – having said that I like his tag and how he incorporates it. At this rate it won’t be too long before I have enough of his work to create a gallery.
I had an interesting virtual discussion recently with Paul H about what to call graffiti writers when you write about them or post on Instagram/Facebook. I tend to call them by the name that they write, so SOKER is Soker, RUSK is Rusk and so on. However every now and again, especially when writing for the first time I might use their Intstagram handle, which Paul tends to use more.
The problem with both is that some artists have a habit of either changing the letters they write (Dasco is doing this at the moment, although he is in Spain) or changing their Instagram accounts. The point is that intuitively I would have called this artist NESK, but because I was with Paul when I saw this beautiful piece I am calling him by his Twitter name – Bazmataz.
This is an absolute beauty, whatever one calls the artist. The metallic effect, the stars, the 3D fill and the colours are all made to work hard to produce an outstanding piece. I will definitely be looking out for Bazmataz (Nesk) in future.
A recent paint jam in a spot I have struggled to get to until recently included this magnificent beast from Smak. The piece, in gentle pastel shades, is yet another example in an extensive portfolio of the outstanding talent of the artist.
What is really clever about Smak’s writing is that his letters are nearly always legible and yet the sophistication and complexity of his designs and fills is mind-blowing. To achieve such a balance is surely the work of a master at the top of his game.
At last, with the help of Paul H, I have been able to access a spot where great treasures are painted. I guess that it is fitting that the first piece (of many, many I hope) from this spot is by Ryder, who has been tireless in keeping our walls fresh for as long as I have been writing about street/graffiti art, and indeed quite a while longer than that.
This is a very nice piece indeed from the RAW man with his customary tidy writing and faces lurking within the letters being reflected in a ‘watery’ medium beneath a thin layer of mist. Great colours and great execution and an all round winning piece.