Painted at the weekend (I think) this is a real beauty from Rusk (I told you there was more from him coming) and Jody. I can’t really articulate just how good this collaboration is and although the writing and the portrait don’t integrate, they certainly complement each other brilliantly.
On the left The expected high standard and tight work from Rusk delivers in bucket loads. A horizontal mix of bright and dul colours with some ‘glinting’ accents together with some nice inter-linking letters, a lilac outline and grey shadow – a lesson in how to make the complicated look simple.
To the right is a sensational portrait which is a tribute to Nipsey Hussle by the brilliant Jody. OK, so I’m old and my musical tastes although broad are not comprehensive and I have never heard of Nipsey Hussle before. He was an Ameican rapper, activist and entrepreneur who died in 2019, shot outside his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles. I might have to go and dig out some of his music, and I thank Jody from bringing him to my attention.
I had seen this collaboration on Instagram and got myself down to Rakleigh Road a quickly as practical because one never knows just how long these things might last. This is a real beauty.
This is the second of two #onyourside pieces down at TempleMeads station in Bristol and is by the brilliant Jody. The campaign is called ‘Goals worth talking about’ and this mural features Bristol City’s David Noble who scored a memorable goal at Selhurst Park.
It is great to have two such outstanding murals painted by two of Bristol’s best artists representing the two footballing halves of the city side by side. There is great rivalry between the two teams, but sometimes there are more important things to consider. This piece is not typically identifiable as a piece by Jody, as we are more used to seeing portraits of beautiful women. This is a concession perhaps to the beautiful game. Worth getting down to the station to see these two murals.
In Millennium Square, a cultural centre of Bristol, a new piece by Jody has been commissioned and the piece is riding high on the crest of the wave of enhanced public awareness of environmental issues.
I’m not too sure where the commission has come from, but the subject matters owes an awful lot to the iconic film Jaws (one of course). Instead of an unwitting swimmer, the sea is full of floating plastic and the ‘prey’ a plastic bottle of water. The sad truth behind this sensational and clever piece with a strong message is that it does tell a story of our heavily polluted seas. It is a homage (probably the wrong choice of word) to the Anthropocene epoch. Such a piece of public art could not have even existed a hundred and fifty years ago. What have we done? Nice piece by Jody.
We live in curious times. In the UK we have been enduring an insane paralysis brought about by Brexit, something that has irreversibly divided the nation. In the United States, the most powerful man in the world, President Donald Trump, sets an uneasy tone which resonates globally as his uncompromising ‘business man’ approach to politics destabilises all around him in his efforts to deliver an America first agenda. And yet all this pales into insignificance in the light of two of the most pressing issues in human history… climate change and biodiversity loss.
In such moments unlikely heroes arise, and none more unlikely than sixteen year-old Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg. This incredible painting by Bristol’s Jody, part of Upfest’s Summer Editions programme, is a worthy tribute to a young girl whose voice speaks for millions and whose direct messages have contributed to a change in how governments listen to this narrative. Of course listening and acting are two different things, but Greta seems to be in no mood to stop campaigning just yet.
Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019
Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019
Jody spent a couple of weeks creating this piece and I saw him on a few occasions while he was painting it. We chatted briefly, and I was rather pleased to find out that he has read some of my posts on Natural Adventures. He said that my reviews of his work were kind, and I rather foolishly said that I was kind to everyone, which then made me feel like I was saying that his work was not special. Well let’s put that straight right now… his work is exceptional and of the highest quality and this will I’m sure become an Iconic image of Greta. I believe that pictures and stories about it have already gone global.
It is funny how Greta Thunberg has become a world leader in taking these issues to governments and citizens and bringing climate change up the agenda. Of course, other campaigners have been banging on about this for decades, but somehow her arrival and campaigning came just at the right time, following huge public opinion shifts around the issue of single use plastics, themselves probably prompted by the amazing work of the BBC and Blue Planet 2 and of course Sir David Attenborough.
We have reached a crossroads, and nations must decide how they are going to meet the challenges of Climate change and biodiversity loss. I would say at this point (and I apologise for pointing this out) that there is a strong correlation between Brexiteers and Trumpists (small ‘c’ conservatives) and climate change denial/apathy or even charges of conspiracy. What these people have not registered or acknowledged is that climate change and biodiversity loss will not discriminate against those people they impact upon, nobody will be immune.
We will all lose unless something is done. Large businesses and their shareholders will lose money and maybe collapse; coastal cities and towns will become battered by increasing frequency of storms and rising sea levels; insurance companies will struggle to operate models that can cope with the claims made; more people will go hungry as crops ruin, trade collapses and selfishness protects the rich.
A bleak future for all of us, and the ‘flat earthers’ who don’t want to face up to these challenges put all of us at risk by their deliberating and self-protection. Fools. Look no further than the man-made islands in Dubai and the most fantastic monuments to human folly – built on funds from fossil fuels, these islands will inundate as sea levels rise. You couldn’t make it up.
Here endeth the rant.
I thank Upfest for making this happen. I thank Jody for choosing to paint this outstanding piece. I thank Greta Thunberg for giving me hope and inspiration. I have dedicated my life to the environment personally and professionally and at last I feel we might be approaching a tipping point where public opinion influences public policy.
Let’s hope that this iconic piece and iconic young woman continue to inspire us all (even those who disagree with their message, in fact especially those who disagree with their message).
A new Mexican cantina has opened up in Stokes Croft called Masa and Mezcal where the old MEATliquor use to be. The cantina looks rather nice and has a fresher feel than its predecessor. Because this is Stokes Croft, it wouldn’t quite feel complete without some street art about the place, and this building has always had art and tags.
Who better to adorn this new outlet than Bristol’s Jody. Here he gives one of his beautiful portrait pieces which blends into the graffiti that pre-existed on the wall in a thoughtful and sensitive way, giving the whole thing an air of credibility rather than whitewashing and starting afresh.
This is a piece that will be missed by many, because although it is new, it looks like it has been here for ever. Very beautiful, very clever.
During the Upfest 2018 weekend, I really struggled with who was painting this piece. The difficulty was that it was on a new wall that didn’t really offer close access and the artist was perched high up on scaffolding. It turns out that the piece is by Bristol’s magnificent Jody.
Jody is meticulous with his work and certainly never rushes. For this reason, many visitors to Upfest never actually get to see his finished pieces, until they return some time later. It was days before he finished this one, but wow, it was well worth the wait.
This is a cleverly worked portrait of a woman behind a golden cat mask and it truly outstanding. Like so many of his works it seems to have gravitas…I can’t really express what I mean by that other than that there is a seriousness about the work. Beautiful piece beautifully executed.
Each year at Upfest, there is a feature artist, and this year it was Jody. This small golden apple piece is one of a few works that Jody created at this year’s festival. In this piece, Jody has taken a simple idea and made it spectacular. The shading and light blended with the gold grey and white colours gives us an exceptional and compelling image, which contrasts so well with the black background.
Jody must have completed this, and one or two other small pieces before the festival began, which is probably just as well, because he was still painting his main piece a few days after the end of Upfest. I am including a picture from last year, to remind you of the considerable talents of this Bristol artist.
Every once in a while a town or city will see a new piece of street art appear that becomes an iconic landmark and a part of its beating heart. Examples in Bristol are the black and yellow portrait of a girl in Stokes Croft by Stinkfish and the hanging man by Banksy just off Park Street. Well this new significant work by Jody is, I believe, going to be another one to add to the list.
I spotted Jody at work on this piece a couple of weeks ago, when he was on a cherry picker painting some flowers. At that point I wasn’t sure it was Jody, but his style and the method he uses to paint gave it away a bit.
The piece is a commission for a newly opened cocktail bar/restaurant on Park Street, called The Florist. The establishment is part of a chain called The Botanist, but as luck would have it, there is an independent bar of the same name in Berkeley Square a few meters further up the hill – so The Florist it is. Some of the interior pieces, I understand, are also by Jody and by fellow Bristol artist Gemma Compton. I will have to check it out.
I think this is a sensational piece and a real statement for Bristol. The wall can be seen when walking down Park Street and has a real ‘wow factor’ to it. Furthermore, it will probably stay in good condition as the wall rarely catches the full sun, making it difficult to photograph, but protecting it from bleaching. This is a feather in Bristol’s and Jody’s caps.