Tucked away in a doorway on Jamaica Street is the third of three recent pieces in Bristol by London-based artist Nathan Bowen. All three have been roughly the same size and in portrait orientation, which is quite unusual for street art, most of which is in landscape.
The scribbled cartoon character is holding a sign with the words ‘I am a Man’ on it. I don’t know what this piece might refer to nor whether it has any political significance but I really like it. I am a fan of Nathan Bowen’s unique style and would surely love to see him hitting the walls of Bristol more often. Pitu about the rather useless ‘plus’ tag in blue, but it goes with the territory.
I have been meaning to photograph this wonderful portrait by Hazard for quite some time, but the door to Jamaica Street Stores is rarely kept open for long enough to grab a picture. With the coronavirus restrictions in place, the door is kept open to aid ventilation and I grabbed my chance to dive in and take a couple of snaps.
This is so typically Hazard and couldn’t possibly be by anyone else although it does share some characteristics with Jody’s work, such as a female portrait and plento of delicious flowers. I haven’t eaten at the Jamaica Street Stores, but in preparing this post I glanced at the menu, and I don’t think it’ll be too long before I bring the family down for a meal (restrictions permitting).
There is a lovely contrast in the piece between the grayscale (tinged with yellow/golden reflected light) face and the surrounding colourful flowers. This is a fine Hazard piece that I am pleased at last to have captured.
It is weird how easy it can be to completely miss things, I think the expression is something like ‘you can’t see for the looking’. I must have walked past this qWeRT piece dozens of times, but only noticed it recently.
The placement of the googly-eyed pasteup is absolutely perfect, blending in with a larger mural on the wall from Cheba. It all works so well together. I have always said that half the skill of wheatpasters is their ability to find just the right spot. Get that wrong and the impact can be diluted, get it right and it is amplified. Love this one.
The public conscience of Bristol is often provided by Object…, a little bit like Jimini Cricket in Pinocchio. If there is an issue about common decency and care of your fellow citizens, then Object… will be there as a champion. So there are no surprises that this artist produced this coronavirus piece during lock down.
Object… has close associations with the PRSC outdoor gallery, which he seems to curate, so this wall in Jamaica Street was a safe bet. I love this piece. It says all the things I would want to say and reminds us of a time when compliance with the rules was the norm. The recent relaxations following on from the Dominic Cummings scandal have added up to a sense of selfishness and free-for-all that I just don’t get. Sometimes I truly despair.
This piece is beautifully illustrated with excellent illustrations of NHS workers and is painted with love. Nice one.
On Jamaica Street, opposite the PRSC outdoor gallery is this curious paste up by qWeRT. This is quite different from the googly-eyed character that we are used to seeing, and something of a rarity (unless I have mistaken the artist, which is always possible).
Looking a little bit more like something from Face the Strange, another wheatpaster, the piece is of a suited man with robotic extensions for a head and arms. I passed by that way yesterday and even though the piece is two years old it is still there. not too tatty either. An interesting paste up in a great spot.
On the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft wall in Jamaica Street, this simple and kind collaboration celebrates our amazing (underfunded) NHS, in a gesture of love for all the hard work they are doing in this difficult time. The collaboration by 3Dom and Sepr is a collaboration in name only as the artists each painted their halves separately on different days, following social distancing guidelines.
On the left is an exquisite piece of script writing in NHS blue. 3Dom has managed to write these delicate letters with the tops and bottoms appearing to vaporize into a white mist. The subtle cream shading just to the right of the letters helps them to stand out a bit more. This is beautiful, technical writing.
Painted the following morning is this wonderful heart by Sepr. Simply done and conveying all the right emotions for the circumstances. I don’t know how he does it, but Sepr can even manage to get his retro style into a heart. Fantastic.
As I have said before, we must also celebrate all other key workers and public/civil services that are keeping us all safe and well.
There is not a big culture of wheatpasting in Bristol, compared with say Shoreditch or Barcelona, so it is always a pleasure when or ‘established’ artists stick up a few pieces here and there. I apologise for the poor quality of the picture below – I hate it when that happens, but am too lazy to go back and take a better one.
This little one by Georgie could easily be mistaken for an advertising poster for fizzy drink manufacturer Coca Cola, with its deliberate use of colours and fonts. I can’t quite make out whether this is an ironic piece with its ‘Enjoy Life’ tag line, or whether this is a genuine upbeat piece. I’ll let you decide.
Well this came as a bit of a surprise and something of a treat too. On my walk in to work a couple of weeks back, I thought I’d take a small detour down Jamaica Street, and there, big as you like, was this wonderful collaboration between Bristol’s Cheba and Lebanese calligraphy artist Ghaleb Hawila.
This kind of collaboration is quite unusual in Bristol, and I am not certain I have seen any calligraphy here before, although I have seen plenty in London. Additionally, this wall is an absolute bugger to photograph because it sits in a gated courtyard and the angles are all wrong…this is the best I could do.
Cheba has painted a silhouette clutching some bright object that is sending out shards of light. The silhouetted figure is filled decorated with Cheba’s trademark cosmic space scenery, which gives it some depth.
Ghaleb Hawila said this on his Instagram feed about the collaboration:
“You gotta believe in yourself; in the lights buried within you. Give yourself the permission to glow and grow.” A collaboration with my brother @cheba_bristol his magnificent work and personality. That’s exactly one year after meeting this crazy guy in Alay, Lebanon during the @ahlafawda and @risegallery cultural exchange. I spent four days at his beautiful house, with his hyper dog and lovely wife. We explored a lot in his studio and i just can’t sum the experience with words. It was an intensive restless art residency were you get to explore yourself more and more.
It is great to get a bit of insight into how these things are achieved. A wonderwall.
Some of you might be familiar with the cosmic work of Cheba, but I have never seen any of his pieces as dazzlingly colourful and ‘in your face’ as this one. This wall previously played host to another slightly unusual pink cosmic piece by Cheba, but this one completely trumps it.
You might notice from the feature image ast the top, a tiny little ceramic ‘my little pony’ which was sited there a couple of years ago by Chinagirl Tile. It is brilliant that it has survived intact. Perhaps people just don’t notice it.
The detail in this Cheba pieceshows you why he is one of the best at these stellar murals in the business – it is a bit of a niche thing, but he does it better that any of the others (in my view). Great to see something new and challenging from this Bristol artist.
You may notice that I have once again been rummaging around in my archives, and have found this rather nice installation piece by Will Coles dating back to September last year. There was another of these LOL skulls in The Bearpit, ahich appeared at round about the same time.
This one, like many of his pieces’ is quite easy to miss despite its location directly opposite the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft outdoor gallery. I like the quirky nature of Will Coles’ pieces and particularly like the skill he has for choosing his locations. I wonder how many of his pieces I might have missed in Bristol.