3605. M32 Cycle path (117)

This is a pairing that has been very productive in recent weeks and one that involves two artists with very different temperaments, Hemper and Turoe. What is clear is that both of these artists are uber-talented and capable of turning out writing in a plethora of different styles.

Hemper, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, April 2021
Hemper, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, April 2021

This collaboration is actually only one half of a slightly larger effort that included Veks and Benjimagnetic but somehow these two needed to be posted as one. The Hemper ‘HEMS’ is utterly outstanding and those shades from brown at the bottom to blue at the top are sensational. The letter style is nice and organic and has a kind of woodland/outdoorsy feel to it. So very good.

Turoe, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, April 2021
Turoe, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, April 2021

The Turoe piece in a richly scripted style, spelling out, unsurprisingly, SHYTE, is beautifully done in a yellow gold colour. There is something funny about the juxtaposition between the fancy script and crude word. A fine piece from Turoe. Together, these artists with contrasting efforts have absolutely smashed this wall.

Hemper and Turoe, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, April 2021
Hemper and Turoe, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, April 2021

3601. St Werburghs tunnel (233)

Both of these artists have had a very busy year in terms of throwing paint at walls. Benjimagnetic and Hemper are not artists I would normally pair up, but they have painted together in the past and continue to do so from time to time. Benjimagnetic’s style is much more consistent, whereas with Hemper, each piece is incredibly individual.

Benjimagnetic, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2021
Benjimagnetic, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2021

On the left is a fascinating piece from Benjimagnetic spelling BEN, which is much less frenetic and busy than his usual offerings. The yellow outline, where you can make out his letters, is sitting over a blockwork pattern, and the whole efect is compelling. Two little speech bubbles state: ‘Stand in the balance’ and ‘Hold your head up’

Hemper, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2021
Hemper, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2021

To the right Hemper has created a sensational piece of writing spelling out HEMS in beautifully curvy letters which are filled to perfection with various colourful shades and bubbles. The whole thing is set on a very atmospheric green background with a few subtle shout-outs. ‘Free assembly is a right… …not a privilege’ is a sentiment very close to many Bristolian hearts at the moment. Kill the bill.

M32 roundabout J3 (290)

Yesterday I posted a gallery of Hemper’s work, and if you’ve not stumbled across it, you can find it here. This is yet another beauty in a disaggregated style, a little bit like Benjimagnetic perhaps, up at the M32 roundabout. I would like to say it is his most recent piece, but I know of at least two more since this one was painted.

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021

At first glance, and to the untrained eye, this might look like a bit of a chaotic mess. It is however a beautifully crafted HEMS in several colours, without a solid fill, but instead a hint at fills and outlines. I think that this is the kind of piece that a novice simply couldn’t create. Appearances can be deceptive.


Hemper

A gallery of brilliant graffiti writing pieces from Bristol-based artist Hemper

All photographs by Scooj

Hemper, M32 cycle path, Bristol, March 2021
Hemper, M32 cycle path, Bristol, March 2021

Hemper, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, April 2021
Hemper, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, April 2021

Hemper, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2021
Hemper, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2021

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021

Hemper, M32 cycle path, Bristol, March 2021
Hemper, M32 cycle path, Bristol, March 2021

Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, February 2021
Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, February 2021

Hemper, M32 cycle path, Bristol, February 2021
Hemper, M32 cycle path, Bristol, February 2021

Hemper, Brunel Way, Bristol, January 2021
Hemper, Brunel Way, Bristol, January 2021

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2020
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2020

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2020
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2020

Hemper, Alfred Street, Bristol, September 2020
Hemper, Alfred Street, Bristol, September 2020

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2016
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2016

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2020
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2020

Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020
Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020

Inkie and Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020
Inkie and Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, March 2020

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2020
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2020

Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2019
Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2019

Hemper, St Werburghs, Bristol, August 2019
Hemper, St Werburghs, Bristol, August 2019

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, November 2018
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, November 2018

Ulow and Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2018
Ulow and Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, June 2018

Hemper, Old Bread Street, Bristol, September 2016
Hemper, Old Bread Street, Bristol, September 2016

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2017
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2017

Zesk and Hemper, Dean Lane skate park, Bristol, May 2016
Zesk and Hemper, Dean Lane skate park, Bristol, May 2016

3505. Dean Lane skate park (392)

It’s official, Hemper is on fire at the moment and having as productive a time of it as any that I can remember. I wonder if the ongoing lockdown situation has freed up some artists to paint walls more often than they normally would, and other ones to become almost invisible over the last year or so.

Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, February 2021
Hemper, Dean Lane, Bristol, February 2021

I think that Hemper has a very good eye for colour combinations and the purple and green combinations in this piece work fantastically well. Spelling out HEMS, the letters alternate between the two main colours, but each letter is uniquely fashioned and filled. Another outstanding piece of graffiti writing from this master.

3461. Brunel Way bridge (88)

Of all the ‘masters’ of Bristol graffiti writing, I think that Hemper is probably the least represented on Natural Adventures. I am not entirely sure why that might be. Perhaps it is the modest approach he takes to his highly technical freestyle work, or to the fact that he normally paints with other artists, which might take the attention away. I don’t know. Anyhow, I really ought to address this imbalance – perhaps with a gallery.

Hemper, Brunel Way, Bristol, January 2021
Hemper, Brunel Way, Bristol, January 2021

In this piece under Brunel Way, Hemper spells out HEMS with some glorious curvy letters filled with a couple of shade of purple and embellished in a way that gives it a shiny 3D effect – how does he achieve that shiny thing? Some very clever white additions that give it a reflective quality. This is a real technical banger.

3427. M32 roundabout (276)

I have only met Hemper on one occasion and that was last summer. My first impressions were that he is an unassuming and modest fellow who has put in the effort and has a gift for graffiti writing and does it extraordinarily well.

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2020
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2020

Hemper is a freestyle writer, which means that he doesn’t paint from a sketch in a black book but rather from his imagination. Combine that natural creativity with the fine motor skills that he has developed over the years, and you get outstanding pieces like this one. A little beauty.

3308. M32 roundabout J3 (262)

Another one from a little earlier this year, and what a beauty it is from Hemper. This is a fantastically intricate piece of wildstyle writing from the artist in which each letter of the word HEMPERS (I think) is written with a completely independent style and colour regime and each is wonderfully elaborate.

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2020
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2020

I had a conversation with Hemper earlier in the year when he was painting this same wall, and he told me that he usually freestyles his pieces with a mental picture of roughly how he wants it to turn out. Well if this was what was in his head he has turned out a real gem. Exceptional work from an exceptional graffiti writer.

3190. Alfred Street (6)

On the opposite side of the Dare To building from the Smak piece in my previous post on Natural Adventures is a fine quintet of pieces of which this is one. Each piece hosts the writers name together with a little character. This gorgeous rhapsody in green is by Hemper.

Hemper, Alfred Street, Bristol, September 2020
Hemper, Alfred Street, Bristol, September 2020

Spelling out HEMS, this intricate piece is absolutely amazing and incredibly detailed. The letters seem to pop out all over the place thanks to the skillful 3D shading effects. This is a work by a fine craftsman. I’m not too sure who the little green character is to the top left, but I think I recognise him from a contemporary cartoon series.

3081. M32 roundabout J3 (238)

This piece was photographed during a crazy purple patch of brilliant artists hitting the M32 walls a couple of weeks back and I just so happened to be fortunate enough to see them at work two days running. On the second day, when I took these pictures, I had returned to the roundabout to photograph the finished pieces from the day before and was treated with finding a whole ton more artists at work. It doesn’t happen often but when it does it is so rewarding.

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

I managed to introduce myself to Hemper for the first time and although I have seen him painting before, I’ve not really had the opportunity to say hello. When I arrived Hemper was about half way through this freestyle piece. It is something rather different and resembles slightly a stained glass window.

Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Hemper, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

Hemper was using up dregs from cans hence the explosion of colour, and sprayed the colours first, before carefully going over each colour with the black outline to create this wonderful effect. A great piece on a great day.