Although Rtiiika has moved away from Bristol for the time being, her work remains very much in our memories. It was a pleasure reacquainting myself with these pictures of a piece that she painted in Leonard Lane back in May 2022. Many pieces that were painted in May were bumped because of Upfest, which always impacts on the number of posts I can write. This moment of reflection at the start of 2023 has enabled me to share some great pieces that got left behind.
Rtiiika’s work is pretty much unique in Bristol, although this piece leans heavily on the cubists and artists like Picasso. It is an absolute beauty of a musician playing a cello or double-bass. The musician is female, as denoted by the ‘W’ representing breasts, a motif that Rtiiika has used in her work before. This is a really classy piece and I do hope that she decides to return to Bristol.
Recently, you might have noticed that I have been trying to publish more than two posts per day from time to time. This is due to the fact the November has been a bumper month on the streets, and I want to share as much as I possibly can. Of course, in doing so I risk impacting on the quality of the posts, so I need to try and keep a balance.
Since the Bristol Mural Collective started painting in Leonard Lane, it has become much more of a ‘go to’ destination for street art, and the turnover of work there is on the increase. This is a lovely observational piece from Merny, where we have to make up our own story. I guess these two ladies are too busy on their social media feeds to notice one another. I think the left, left, left, left words are a reference to a dating app. Swiping left means what? is it good or bad? Dating apps are a bit of a mystery to me, given that I have been out of the dating game since long before social media was a thing. More great thought-provoking stuff from Merny.
Leonard Lane used to be a street with only a few pieces of graffiti, street art or tags, but over recent years it has become popular with writers and for paint jams, and now there is little bare wall left, although the quality of work there is highly variable.
You have to look quite hard at this one to make out the letters MOTEL which tells you that it is by Dog Bless the Band. Although the piece looks a bit messy, not helped by the un-buffed wall, it is actually rather nicely put together. Dog Bless the Band has used his usual low-key colours, with a hint of blending, for his letters and added a few ‘shock sparks’ for added interest. A nice touch is the picking out of the mortar lines in the brickwork of the wall into his letters. A nicely considered piece.
This wonderfully colourful piece, by Oma, was painted as part of a Bristol Womxn Mural Collective paint jam back in May 2022, and Leonard Lane really is a perfect venue for these kind of gatherings.
I have only seen a couple of pieces by Oma, who usually paints alongside her partner Zake, and has done so in this instance, you can see his ‘moon face’ behind her piece. Oma has developed and improved her style, and each time she paints she manages to come up with a whole new idea. The portrait is a little unsettling if you look closely. The subject has her arm down her throat and is pointing to her yellow intestine, but by way of explanation, the script text next to the piece says ‘feel your emotions’. I would truly love to see more of Oma’s work – fingers crossed.
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.
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.
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!
When artists come to Bristol for Upfest, they occasionally leave behind some ‘extras’, and this is exactly what My Dog Sighs did in a couple of spots around Bristol with these wheatpastes. In Bristol, wheatpastes have never been all that popular, which is a pity, so to see these superb paste ups from such a significant artist is a real joy.
The first paste up features MDS’ Everyman character painted on a newspaper background, with the profound statement ‘our secrets sleep in winter coats’. Although this looks like an original artwork, it is in fact a print, which in no way devalues it(except in monetary terms), as many wheatpastes are prints that are replicated in multiple venues.
The other two prints feature rather more subtle characters, more akin to the artwork he has been developing from his crushed can pieces. At one time MDS might have been in danger of becoming a one trick pony, however he has spread his wings and diversified so much in recent years which is great to see.
I think these three were in Leonard Lane, but I can’t be one hundred percent sure as I took photographs of his wheatpastes in several different places. The final piece has one of his pigeon-people that MDS has been painting for two or three years. Fabulous stuff. You will always find me partial to a bit of paste up work.
I was fortunate enough to meet several members of the Bristol Womxn Mural Collective yesterday at Upfest and what an extreme pleasure it was too. I have seen the results of their various paint jams dotted around the city, and it was so good at last to meet some of them.
This piece, by Tanith Gould, is from one of their recent paint jams in Leonard Lane, one of my favourite spots in Bristol.
Tanith Gould has a wonderful illustrative style in which she presents figures almost as studies. This is a beautifully thought out and designed quartered piece with two figures accompanied by legs appearing through holes. Certainly imaginative, but something you could easily imagine as a greetings card or small poster, something that hard-core street artists rarely achieve.
I am shocked to find that this is only the second post on Natural Adventures featuring Tanith Gould. I’ll have to do something about that.
Erviti has done it again by landing a beautiful piece of artwork on the streets of Bristol. This stunner was painted as part of a Bristol Womxn Mural Collective paint jam in the old alleyway of Leonard Lane.
The portrait of a woman wearing a hooded cloak is so unusual, and a real breath of fresh air on the streets of Bristol. The collective as a whole add another dimension to the street art scene, with studio artists going feral with their creative designs and different techniques. The end result adds to the huge diversity of art on the city’s streets. Erviti is leading the way with this welcome addition.
Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside. Leonard Lane could hardly contrast more with a seaside scene, which helps this gorgeous mural stand out by Billy. Billy Colours, to give her her full name, together with Mr Penfold and Rtiiika, decorated the wall opposite the Centrespace Gallery at which they were exhibiting alongside Zoe Power, Merny and Beth Kirby in mid-February. Regrettably, I never made it to their show, which I am gutted about, but I have a busy life and things like that often fall outside the ‘to do’ list.
The naive style and simple captions tell such vibrant stories in a direct and honest way. It might sound patronising to say that her pieces are charming, and I definitely don’t want to be patronising, so to say they have a spellbinding charm about them might be a better way to say it. Lady in a hat as a caption works very well for me, and this piece left me feeling happy.
I love my little walks down Leonard Lane, it feels rather secret, old and magical (if you can ignore the smell of piss) and there is always something new to notice. This little character, created and installed by Mutatee has been in the Lane for a while and looks a little worse for wear, but I thought I’d include it in any case because it is all part and parcel of the Bristol street art scene.
It is well worth following Mutatee’s Instagram account @mutatee_ to see how she makes all her characters, it is a fascinating process. The character is from the film Labyrinth, starring David Bowie and a whole host of puppets. I believe the worm is called William. In this cast by Mutatee, the tufts of hair have been broken off, perhaps by someone trying to ‘steal’ the piece. A pity really, because it is little installations like this that add interest and intrigue to the city.