3774. West Street (5)

Upfest is the gift that keeps on giving. By spreading out the 75 artworks over a period of 75 days, people like me, who can be rather lazy, are forced to get out and go to places beyond the usual honeypots, to find new pieces in the Bedminster area. In looking for these new pieces, I have been lucky enough to stumble upon older ones that I have never seen before, such as this beauty by Gage Graphics.

Gage Graphics, West Street, Bristol, June 2021
Gage Graphics, West Street, Bristol, June 2021

This delightful commission is on the shutters of the ‘Mutty Professor’ pet shop, and certainly brings a bit of colour to an otherwise rather bland shopfront. There are two shutters, one over the window and one over the door. In purples and pinks, the piece is of a rather gentle rural landscape with meadows and rolling hills.

Gage Graphics, West Street, Bristol, June 2021
Gage Graphics, West Street, Bristol, June 2021

The large window features a dog and a cat enjoying this landscape in the shade of a tree in blossom and an ash tree (there won’t be too many of those left in a few years). A really nice piece that I definitely wasn’t looking for, which makes it all the more satisfying.

3709. Upper York Street (25)

One of the golden rules of enjoying urban architecture and culture is to remember to look up. We spend most of our lives looking at where we are going, or worse, looking at our digital screens, that we forget to look back, look around and look up. If we don’t pause to look and enjoy then we risk the world passing us by, and then, what’s the point of anything?

Gage Graphics, Upper York Street, Bristol, May 2021
Gage Graphics, Upper York Street, Bristol, May 2021

The recent piece I featured by Gage Graphics on the front elevation of a new development is actually one of three pieces (that I have found) on the building by Ollie Gillard. This one is high up on the balcony of one of the apartments and is really quite magnificent. Painting on brickwork like this can’t be particularly easy, and it might have been better to have rendered this section of wall prior to commissioning the artwork however the end result is outstanding.

The piece features a cockatoo wearing a headdress made, ironically, of feathers, and singing into a sparkling microphone. In the distance a mountain rises high and at the top left the sun shines with some birds silhouetted against it. I don’t know what the story is but I definitely like the piece.

3678. Upper York Street (24)

To deliberately misquote a biblical phrase, ‘the Lord taketh away and the the Lord giveth’. The whole area of small businesses and light industrial units in the Upper York Street and Wilder Street area have been knocked down for new developments including housing and student accommodations, depriving street/graffiti artists from some premium walls. The gentrification programme is moving at pace and sweeping all around it aside.

Gage Graphics, Upper York Street, Bristol, May 2021
Gage Graphics, Upper York Street, Bristol, May 2021

It would appear that the developers of this block, which has been build with alarming speed during the coronavirus pandemic, have offered a small gesture that acknowledges the area’s street art heritage with this incredible mural from Gage Graphics. We know what an accomplished artist Ollie Gillard is and his outstanding murals can be found on private houses, restaurants and businesses all over Bristol. This is another fabulous addition to his portfolio that contributes to the whole Bristol USP thing.

Gage Graphics, Upper York Street, Bristol, May 2021
Gage Graphics, Upper York Street, Bristol, May 2021

The piece itself is a wonderful tropical paradise scene in which creatures of the forest admire a circus act being performed by a little mouse in the wooded foothills of a small mountain. Ollie Gillard transports us to a different place with this mural and there is so much detail to look at and admire. Well worth a visit, but does it compensate for the loss of the local street art walls, I guess only partially. It will be interesting to see whether this new build gets tagged and bombed, once all the hoardings come down.

3430. St Luke’s Road (3)

This is the third stunning mural I have recently posted by Gage Graphics on the rear wall of house on St Luke’s Road overlooking Victoria Park. I had seen images of this piece before on the Internet, but it wasn’t until I went looking for the new Banksy piece in Totterdown that I stumbled across it.

Gage Graphics, St Luke's Road, Bristol, December 2020
Gage Graphics, St Luke’s Road, Bristol, December 2020

It is a great thing when neighbours collaborate and decide to commission pieces like this, and this iconic row of houses has about six or seven noteworthy murals that do so much to brighten up the area. In this piece, Gage Graphics has included a couple of iconic Bristol characters from Aardman Studios, Gromit (peering out of the tree trunk) and Shaun the Sheep in the centre of the moral. Other Bristol references are  the SS Great Britain designed and built by I. K. Brunel and in the sky a Balloon gently drrifts by. On the right of the mural a surfer is catching an enormous wave. This is a fun and creative piece and a fine addition to the others in the road.

Gage Graphics, St Luke's Road, Bristol, December 2020
Gage Graphics, St Luke’s Road, Bristol, December 2020

3395. St Luke’s Road (2)

On the eve of 2021, it think it is appropriate to post this beautiful piece by Gage Graphics as a way of looking forward to the summer when we can be ourselves once again and figure out what our world looks like. It might not be like it was, but it will surely be better than right now.

Gage Graphics, St Luke's Road, Bristol, December 2020
Gage Graphics, St Luke’s Road, Bristol, December 2020

This large sunflower mural is one of several on this row of houses that overlook Victoria Park, and represents one of the best ‘free galleries’ in Bristol. Gage Graphics is responsible for several of them. There is something very special about sunflowers, I’m not sure what magic they possess, but I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t marvel at their magnificence. I think that they grow from a seed in such a short time and produce large happy flowers adds to their popularity.

Gage Graphics, St Luke's Road, Bristol, December 2020
Gage Graphics, St Luke’s Road, Bristol, December 2020

Gage Graphics has captured the majesty of the sunflower perfectly and in addition the services it provides to pollinating insects such as bumblebees. This is an outstanding mural and emblem of hope.

3376. St Luke’s Road (1)

The great thing about visiting areas of Bristol one doesn’t normally go to is that you open your eyes to a whole new culture and architectural environment. So when visiting Totterdown to photograph the new Banksy recently, I was exposed to quite a few pieces and murals that I had been aware of but had never seen. One row of houses in particular caught the eye due to the very large murals on their garden-facing walls, which could be viewed from the road below. The row of houses is on St Luke’s Road.

Gage Graphics, St Luke's Road, Bristol, December 2020
Gage Graphics, St Luke’s Road, Bristol, December 2020

The artist of this mural (along with several others) is Gage Graphics aka Ollie Gillard and who writes graffiti under the name Serif. This is an outstanding mural that shows a section cut through the ground, exposing different rock strata that lead up to the root system of a tree. The tree is bending in an autumn breeze and fits perfectly between two windows. All the while a milky daytime full moon looks on. What a wonderful thing to have on your house, and a fabulous gift for the citizens of the area to enjoy.

3191. St Werburghs tunnel (189)

Every now and again in the tunnel you get to see a really classy piece of writing (in fact much more than just ocasionally – we are blessed) and this tight piece is by Gage Graphics, probably better known for some magnificent large murals arountd the city.

Gage Graphics, St Werburghs, Bristol, September 2020
Gage Graphics, St Werburghs, Bristol, September 2020

There is something comforting about mural artists who make their living from their art getting back to grassroots and slapping some paint up on a wall like this. This is the work of someone who really gets what he’s doing and carries it off with ease. There are so many good things about this work, spelling out SERIF, but the cracks in the letters do the trick for me. Something of a rarity, but so very welcome.

2740. St Werburghs tunnel (141)

It is not too often that you get to see a piece by Gage Graphics that is not a commission or a festival work, so this recent stunner in St Werburghs tunnel is something of a rarity. Featuring writing and a character, it is a real beauty and was a nice surprise when I came across it last week.

Gage Graphics, St Werburghs, Bristol, February 2020
Gage Graphics, St Werburghs, Bristol, February 2020

The writing says serif (I wonder if it is in anyway related to the typeface) and is expertly painted, with some nice arrows incorporated too. I suspect that Biers (who has other names) would definitely approve of the horse/donkey braying ‘ooohhhyyyeeeaaahhh’. A real treat.

Gage Graphics, St Werburghs, Bristol, February 2020
Gage Graphics, St Werburghs, Bristol, February 2020