3869. M32 roundabout J3 (339)

At the time I took these pictures, I didn’t know who the artist was, so I left them lurking in my archive. Every once in a while I like to go back and see if I can unlock these hidden gems with any new information or insights that I might have, and fortunately I have been able to do so with this one. It is a very unusual early piece by Maesyhook.

Maesyhook, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021
Maesyhook, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021

When I say an early piece, I mean that it was one of the first Maesyhook pieces that I photographed. I am a fan off protest pieces because they document the political landscape of the time, and this pink feline creature has joined the Kill the Bill protest. The protests are about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and this article in ‘the Big Issue’ explains a little bit more and demonstrates why this is vexing people who wish to voice their right to protest, and also protect the rights of travellers and the homeless.

I’m not sure what this pink creature has to do with the Bill, but I love it nonetheless.

3669. M32 Cycle path (124)

Another flurry of activity from Face 1st and Soap, whom are really making my life very difficult at the moment with their productivity and quality of work. If their stuff was rubbish, then I could easily ignore it and move on, but it is not and I feel compelled to post it whenever possible.

Face 1st, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2021
Face 1st, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2021

This pair of PWA artists have collaborated in this spot quite a few times over the years and their friendship appears to be as strong as ever. The collaboration is a Kill the Bill piece, which will meet with a lot of sympathy in Bristol. Another cheerful expression on this happy girl from Face 1st with a subtle FACE written into her hair.

Soap, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2021
Soap, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2021

Soap has reverted to a standard form of his iconic skull/mouths design, and the character is holding up a protest banner. The fill is very nicely blended with some nice decorations. The whole collaboration is set on a pinky cloudy kind of backdrop and ticks a lot of boxes for me. Nice work.

Face 1st and Soap, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2021
Face 1st and Soap, M32 cycle path, Bristol, May 2021

3606. M32 roundabout J3 (303)

In the world before COVID-19, if you can remember that far back, Decay was painting walls at will, and the high frequency of his new pieces at times made it difficult to photograph and post them. Then everything changed and we entered into a dystopian present overseen by charlatans. There seems to be such a strong correlation between demagogue leaders and appalling mis-handling of the health crisis.

Apart from a few pieces over the last year, Decay seems to have gone to ground a bit.

Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2021
Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, April 2021

This recent piece is something of a rarity, not only because Decay hasn’t painted much, but also because of the introduction of a new design. Chuck, the little character, remains. This is another Kill the Bill piece, which stands up for the rights of people who live in mobile accommodation, which Priti Patel appears to want to crush, along with a whole raft of other human rights. She really is a dreadful person in every way. Looking forward to seeing more from Decay as things improve.

3601. St Werburghs tunnel (233)

Both of these artists have had a very busy year in terms of throwing paint at walls. Benjimagnetic and Hemper are not artists I would normally pair up, but they have painted together in the past and continue to do so from time to time. Benjimagnetic’s style is much more consistent, whereas with Hemper, each piece is incredibly individual.

Benjimagnetic, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2021
Benjimagnetic, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2021

On the left is a fascinating piece from Benjimagnetic spelling BEN, which is much less frenetic and busy than his usual offerings. The yellow outline, where you can make out his letters, is sitting over a blockwork pattern, and the whole efect is compelling. Two little speech bubbles state: ‘Stand in the balance’ and ‘Hold your head up’

Hemper, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2021
Hemper, St Werburghs, Bristol, March 2021

To the right Hemper has created a sensational piece of writing spelling out HEMS in beautifully curvy letters which are filled to perfection with various colourful shades and bubbles. The whole thing is set on a very atmospheric green background with a few subtle shout-outs. ‘Free assembly is a right… …not a privilege’ is a sentiment very close to many Bristolian hearts at the moment. Kill the bill.