4676. St George skate park (16)

Here are a couple more small stencils from John D’oh over in the St George skate park, which is a spot that he likes to paint on a reasonably regular basis. The first piece leans very heavily on a famous Banksy ‘sandwich-board chimp’, with a different message – ‘Monkey pox… not laughing now are you’, picking up on the increasing number of cases of the virus in the UK. As always, topical and on the ball.

John D'oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022
John D’oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022

The second stencil is a visual/verbal pun in which John D’oh conflates a Rocky quote and image, with an image of a chicken from the film Chicken Run. The quote is – ‘One run can change your day, many runs can change your life’. All a bit of fun.

John D'oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022
John D’oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022

Liz Truss – our new (fourth horseman of the apocalypse) Prime Minister has gifted John D’oh with years worth of satirical material by appointing one of the least moderate, most right wing, inexperienced, ideological Cabinets ever. She will break this country, but at least her mates will have top jobs supporting her with her destruction.

I could go on for hours about just how bad things are, but I think I will keep my powder dry for when things start to unravel. Unfortunately, by then it might be too late for the poorest in our society.

4652. St George skate park (15)

John D'oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022
John D’oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022

John D’oh has had another recent session in St George skate park, and I was able to get up there just before going off on my holiday. This fine stencil is one of several painted on the side of a skate ramp.

John D'oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022
John D’oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022

The artwork is deliberately retro, which seems at odds with the gentleman looking down at a mobile phone, a clever juxtaposition. It is the message that I love, and similar to one I often repeat here on Natural Adventures, encouraging people to look up and see the world around them, absorb it and enjoy the experience. A lovely stencil piece from John D’oh.

4580. St Michael’s Hill (6)

I was tipped-off by John D’oh about this wonderful, small stencil in a little alleyway off St Michael’s Hill, and it is always nice to have that kind of trust and bond with an artist, and sit is something I really appreciate.

John D'oh, St Michael's Hill, Bristol, July 2022
John D’oh, St Michael’s Hill, Bristol, July 2022

The subject matter of the stencil is our national treasure, Sir David Attenborough, although he is actually so much more than a national treasure. Sir David Attenborough is an inspiration and hero to an entire generation, and his work, highlighting the wonder of biodiversity is an example and warning to national and world leaders, who should listen to what he has to say. I love the way that Sir David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg have joined forces, creating a generational continuity campaigning on behalf of our beautiful planet.

The stencil is notable for being a contemporary image of the great man, showing him as the old man that he is, no sentimentality. Another great piece in which John D’oh has captured one of the most important champions for our planet, with an injection of humour in the words, mimicking a voice-over by the great man himself.

4517. Leonard Lane (35)

Back to Leonard Lane, and this special Queen’s platinum Jubilee celebration piece by John D’oh. This is another fantastically presented piece from John D’oh, who has been producing some really outstanding work lately, really stepping up a level.

John D'oh, Leonard Lane, Bristol, June 2022
John D’oh, Leonard Lane, Bristol, June 2022

This one is an irreverent glance at the Queen, with specific reference to her second son’s indiscretions and rather odd alibi, for his involvement in a sex scandal, that he had taken his daughter to a Pizza Express in Woking on the day in question. It is nice to have these little reminders of British history so perfectly illustrated through John D’oh’s stencils. I have noticed that he has stencilled this one in another of his favourite spots, and need to get over there to photograph it.

John D'oh, Leonard Lane, Bristol, June 2022
John D’oh, Leonard Lane, Bristol, June 2022

I thought I’d include a little extra piece from John D’oh, which I think is from some time ago, but is right next to the Jubilee pizza piece. Gotta love this one!

4495. St Michael’s Hill (5)

My wife was a little late for work a couple of weeks ago, so I gave her a lift in the car. Our route takes us onto St Michael’s hill, and I glanced (as I always do when passing by) down a little alleyway favoured by John D’oh and by total luck he was there spraying a new stencil. Of course, after dropping my wife off, I made a bee-line for the alley way and stopped for a quick chat with John D’oh. As always it was a genuine pleasure to catch up, and great to see the artist at work. While we were talking, a bird pooped on one of the freshly painted faces… the perils of being a street artist!

John D'oh, St Michael's Hill, Bristol, May 2022
John D’oh, St Michael’s Hill, Bristol, May 2022

The piece is a fantastic awareness work that talks about mental health, in particular depression and anxiety, a topic that resonates for me and my family, and I expect for a great many people in today’s troubled landscape. The words on the stencil piece read:

“Pretending you’re okay is easier than having to explain to anyone why you’re not.

Mental health – don’t suffer in silence

Depression is when you don’t really care about anything, anxiety is when you care too much about everything, and having both is just like hell.”

John D'oh, St Michael's Hill, Bristol, May 2022
John D’oh, St Michael’s Hill, Bristol, May 2022

I believe this to be one of John Doh’s finest pieces. The topic aside (a massively important one), he presents four stunning colourful stencils perfectly and seamlessly joined and topped and tailed with a banner and footer. The whole thing is expertly produced and beautifully proportioned.

John D'oh, St Michael's Hill, Bristol, May 2022
John D’oh, St Michael’s Hill, Bristol, May 2022

The stylised comic-book characters are cleverly selected to be both eye-catching and, to a degree, nostalgic. It was interesting to see that John D’oh brought elements of this piece to his collage of pieces for Upfest this year – the joy of stencil art.

John D'oh, St Michael's Hill, Bristol, May 2022
John D’oh, St Michael’s Hill, Bristol, May 2022

I drove past the spot this morning, on a repeat wife-lift scenario, and saw that he has added another piece to his expanding gallery, so I’ll have to pop up there for another photo session soon. Utterly fabulous work from John D’oh.

4394. St George skate Park (14)

If only I were as quick to post John D’oh’s political commentary pieces as he is to prepare and spray his stencils… Natural Adventures would feel a bit more contemporary, but a trade-off has to happen, because there is so much high-quality street/graffiti art in Bristol, I invariably have a backlog. Within a day or two of the Rishi Sunak Spring Statement (which did little for the poorer communities facing a cost of living crisis) John D’oh had come up with this piece, although I think it was just before the furore of his wife’s non-dom status, it certainly continued to resonate.

John D'oh, St George skate park, Bristol, April 2022
John D’oh, St George skate park, Bristol, April 2022

I like it that John D’oh visits various skate parks around Bristol and beyond, because these are places where more people will get exposure to his art and his observations. It is a joy to capture and catalogue John D’oh’s work because in years to come we will be able to reflect on Tory Britain with some grounded and visceral reflections.

4358. Purdown AA Battery (43)

John D’oh delights us with his stencils. Sometimes they are highly political and a commentary on events and happenings of our time and at other times they are packed with fun and humour, and this Captain Caveman falls into the latter category.

John D'oh, Purdown, Bristol, March 2022
John D’oh, Purdown, Bristol, March 2022

I am a little too old to have watched much Captain Caveman, but I was certainly aware of the cartoon series. In this piece, the mischievous character is looking thrilled to be let loose with a spray can. This is a fabulous small piece from John D’oh.

4322. Horfield skate park (8)

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.

John D'oh, Horfield Skate Park, Bristol, March 2022
John D’oh, Horfield Skate Park, Bristol, March 2022

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.

4149. Gloucester Road

The side wall of Bishopston Tiles has been a bit of a honeypot recently with several fabulous stencils by John D’oh, all with an environmental theme, something that the artist obviously cares about deeply. This sensational tiger stencil must have taken forever to cut and prepare. There are at least four layers that I can see, each using a greyscale tone from black to white.

John D'oh, Gloucester Road, Bristol, December 2021
John D’oh, Gloucester Road, Bristol, December 2021

I might be doing the piece a disservice because there was some text accompanying the wall as a whole reading ‘Extinction is forever – endangered doesn’t have to mean extinct’. So a message of hope and a stencil of high quality and extreme beauty from John D’oh. Still more to come from this magnificent spot.

4083. North Street

This old piece by John D’oh has been sitting in my ‘departure lounge’ for several years, and at last I have found the space to publish it. I am going to show my ignorance by not having any idea who the character portrayed in the piece is… a bit of popular culture that has passed me by, and maybe this is why I never posted it when I had prepared it way back.

John D'oh, North Street, Bristol, April 2016
John D’oh, North Street, Bristol, April 2016

Placed on a shopfront that I think has changed since April 2016 when the picture was taken, the text states ‘ life is sometimes just torture. As I said earlier I am not sure what the reference is, but I still like it, and the whole rather run-down scene nonetheless. As you might have spotted, I am going through a bit of a John D’oh purple patch and it has no signs of abating.