3815. Upfest 2021 75×75 (18)

This mural by Carla James is utterly, utterly stunning and a serious contender for my favourite piece of Upfest 21 so far. It saddens me to report that this was one of the dozen or so pieces that was vandalised recently, which is a dreadful shame, and makes my blood boil. However, I was lucky to see it in its original condition. Carla James lives just outside Bristol, so she might be able to salvage it, depending on her work I guess.

Carla James, Exeter Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Carla James, Exeter Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

This wall is so difficult to photograph, like so many in Bedminster – I recommend that more double yellow lines are introduced, which is what we should be doing in the name of reducing car use and mitigating for climate change. The artwork and general feel of this piece is extraordinary, and I simply cannot praise it enough. Carla James has mastered the technique of painting helium balloons (a Fanakapan speciality) but it is the exquisite beauty and colours of the hummingbird that really stand out.

Carla James, Exeter Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Carla James, Exeter Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

I think that if I could take a piece of art home with me from Upfest 75×75, it would be this one (so far). I am blown away.

3800. Upfest 2021 75×75 (14)

What a terrific way to mark my 3,800th street art post with this magnificent mural tucked away just off North Street in a miniature park called Ebenezer gate pocket park, by Hampshire artist Sian Storey.

Sian Storey, Ebeneezer Pocket Park, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Sian Storey, Ebeneezer Pocket Park, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

The park is so small that it is quite quite difficult to get a full shot of the wall, so it is best visited in the flesh where you can soak up all the beauty and detail from the comfort of a bench. The watercolour effect of the piece brings a light and delicate touch to the wall, and the composition of two hummingbirds surrounded by flowers over a central patterned circle is delightful.

Sian Storey, Ebeneezer Pocket Park, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Sian Storey, Ebeneezer Pocket Park, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

This is a skilfully painted piece that typifies the high standard of murals at this year’s Upfest event, and although things haven’t quite turned out as expected this year, the 75 walls in 75 days initiative has really captured the imagination and will leave a legacy of stunning artwork for both Bristol citizens and visitors alike.

2242. Upfest 2018 (144)

Some artists got lucky (deservedly so) at Upfest 2018, receiving more than one wall to paint, and L7M was one of them. This is the second wall that I have written about, and both of them are absolute beauties.

L7M, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
L7M, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

In both of his Upfest works he featured delicate hummingbirds so full of movement. It is interesting to see how this piece looked during the painting process and how it developed into the finished article. A truly magnificent piece on one of my favourite Upfest locations.

L7M, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
L7M, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

1986. Upfest 2018 (122)

One of the first pieces that I recall from Upfest 2018 is this magnificent hummingbird by L7M, a very well-known artist originally from São Paolo who first picked up a can at the tender age of 13. Obviously practice makes perfect.

L7M, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
L7M, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The vibrancy and movement in ther piece is remarkable, and the hummingbird itself is absolutely stunning. L7M was one of the featured artists last year and we certainly got our money’s worth as he did another excellent piece a little further down North Street (to follow).

1645. Upfest 2018 (7)

I don’t know very much about GretL, other than that she is a French artist and designer who likes to work with bold colours and ideas of camouflage. I saw this shutter piece on the first day of Upfest and could see that it was a new Upfest work, thanks to the label. Often it is difficult to date shutter pieces, because I rarely see them, due to the times I visit places where they might be.

Gretl, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Gretl, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This is a simple and rather charming piece entitled ‘humming flower’ and here the artist has conflated the humming bird and the flower, both in the title and in the work. I think she may have done another piece during the festival and will have to look out for it. some nice work.

1052. Upfest 2017 (70)

The light rays cascading across this piece catch me out every time I look at it…they feel real. This is a lovely small piece by Emily Donald, an artist based in Newquay, Cornwall – the coolest county in England. She works with inks and creates wonderful layered pictures, usually incorporating birds and flowers. You can see more of her artwork on this website.

Emily Donald, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Emily Donald, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

In this piece two hummingbirds are busy collecting nectar from beautiful flowers. The whole work has a feeling of tranquility and peace, but it is the light rays that set the whole thing off for me. A wonderful work. I hope we get to see her again next year.