Christmas has come a little early this year in the form of this great stencil piece by John D’oh at Horfield skate park. It is a strong reminder that as we head into an unusual Christmas period with the backdrop of our very own cost of living crisis, we need to be mindful that there are others facing constant troubles far worse than our own. This stencil reminds me of an answer I give to my children when they ask me what I want for Christmas and I give them the same reply every time (I am a dad after all); “all I want for Christmas is world peace”. The answer is deliberately both humorous and serious, a blend John D’oh achieves here.
This piece also reminds me of a Costah piece that I posted a few days ago from my trip last June to Porto, which represents a street artist acting as a chronicler of these troubled times, something that John D’oh excels at. Let us all wish for peace this Christmas.
I don’t visit Horfield skate park all that often, but whenever I do go there, it is always rewarding. John D’oh favours this spot, but this time there was a whole ton of stuff from various artists to enjoy, including this collaboration between Haka and Cats and That.
Haka is a favourite of mine, and in this piece he brings us another Ahlberg reproduction of Burglar Bill, this time smoking a rather large cigar. Haka’s painting partner on this occasion is not an artist I know, but Cats and That has added six delightful cats on either side of Haka’s character. The two styles are rather different, but sit comfortably together in this collaboration. I have seen some more cats from Cats and That under Brunel Way recently, I hope that we will be seeing more from the artist. A great surprise from the skate park.
This piece from Enn Kay (NAK) demonstrates just how far the artist has come in a relatively short space of time. There are qualities in this piece that are not present in some of his earlier works, which provide texture and depth, rather than a flat solid monster with an outline.
This sophistication advance can be seen in the shading on the ‘dragon’ character, with different tones of green creating more of a 3D effect. The whole piece has more of a pastel feel to it and is less harsh on the eye than a solid fill monster. I love the way the character is spraying a little monster on the edge of the piece. A great work from Enn Kay.
John D’oh definitely has a clever approach to his craft. He manages to present a blend of humour and politics in his work, using lots of different stencil techniques and influences to get his messages across. Sometimes he leans heavily on pathos, sometimes deep criticism and at other times wit, and in this stencil, he deals with a very serious issue with the latter approach.
I very much like the fact that he visits this skate park from time to time, partly because it is reasonably close to where I live, but also because it is an infrequently visited spot by artists and turnover there is very low.
This peace dove has had its work cut out over the last few years, and is once again called upon to intervene. We need all the peace we can muster at the moment. A beautifully crafted and sensitively pitched humorous stencil piece from John D’oh.
This is a poignant stencil piece from John D’oh up at Horfield skate park. As is so often the case, John D’oh perfectly captures the moment and presents it to us with a political slant. His work can often include strong, assertive and for some, uncomfortable messages, but they capture a mood in a contemporary way.
The blue and yellow give this piece away as being about the Russian invasion of Ukraine by the ruthless and deluded dictator Putin. A little girl crouches in front of an urban landscape with a red cross emblazoned on it and between them is a hand rising from the ground on which there is a discarded stethoscope. The caption is too awful; ‘war ends lives before they have begun’. This piece speaks to the horrors unfolding in cities like Mariupol, where innocent people, women and children, have been murdered while seeking refuge. I do hope that Putin and his generals and political supporters get lynched when this is all over.
In this Halloween stencil piece from John D’oh we see a depiction of the ghastly Priti Patel as a witch on a broomstick, and I can honestly say it is a depiction that I thoroughly approve of, although her ideology and persona are rather more frightening than a regular witch.
Accompanied with the words ‘Happy Halloween idlers’ and a little silhouette of a power station belching out CO2, the piece does nothing for Priti Patel’s reputation. Although she is highly unlikely ever to see this piece, is is yet another contemporary record made by John D’oh chronicling these dark days of conservative government that seem to be squeezing the life and joy out of our country. It really is time for a change and a breath of fresh air, but unfortunately the UK is essentially a conservative country, and little Britain will be very slow to change.
Back to Bristol now, after a short excursion to London, and a more familiar street art scene altogether. This is the second of two recent finds by John D’oh in Horfield skate park. I suppose it is possible that they were produced around the same time.
This stencil features Batman and a quote from John D’oh that reads ‘I son’t want Michael Gove as Prime Minister I want Batman AKA Jeremy Corbyn’. This is in reference to a televised speech made by Michael Gove in which the automated subtitles said Batman instead of ‘that man’ when he was talking about the leader of the opposition. Very funny really, and great work from John D’oh to capture it in this way. I think we’d all prefer Batman to any of the potential candidates in the Tory party right now. What an utter shower of toxic right-wingers.
I don’t head up to Horfield skate park very often, as I consider the turnover of street art and graffiti there to be pretty low and it doesn’t seem to be a particularly favoured spot for many artists. I was delighted therefore to be rewarded on a rare trip on Good Friday with this magnificent stencil by John D’oh.
The stencil works for me so very very well. It shows the unspeakably toxic Jacob Rees-Mogg standing behind Theresa May who appears to be his ventriloquist’s dummy. Brilliantly funny but also it speaks volumes about how so many of us feel about the way the European Research Group (ERG – what kind of name is that anyway? Research? swap the word ‘research’ for ‘hating’ and you might get a sense of what they’re all about) have been holding May hostage throughout Brexit negotiations. Their hard-line and uncompromising Brexit desires, and her determination to hold the Conservative party together, mean that they have dictated the terms of the failed negotiations, along with the jaw-droppingly selfish DUP.
Rees-Mogg represents everything I dislike about self-interested politicians who do not serve their people, but rather manipulate narratives that appeal to under-represented groups. I would guess he also cares more about his income security (and growth) than he does about the pressing fate of our planet. I suspect he shares Owen Patterson’s loathing of the environmental movement that might, just might, interfere with their comfortable lives for the sake of trying to reverse the shocking state of carbon emissions and biodiversity loss.
Thank you John D’oh for giving us this fabulous visual reminder of just how disgraceful the political class (and indeed party politics in general) are in the UK.
I don’t go to this spot often, but just happened to be picking up my daughter and a friend from Horfield Sports Centre and had five minutes to kill. I took a short walk around the perimeter of the skate park, in the melting snow, and was pretty happy to find this writing from Rusk.
Most of the stuff here is pretty elementary and it is a bit of a practice wall, so it is always nice to see something a bit more polished from an established graffiti writer. The class of this piece stands out, and even on a wall that not many will see, Rusk has taken his time to produce something of quality. A nice March surprise.