3210. M32 Cycle path (78)

This piece was painted a little while back by Decay, but I decided to dig it out because it marks further experimentation from an artist, who, when I first met him only painted in black, white, red and grey colours. His artistic journey has blossomed over the last three or so years and his pieces are becoming more and more interesting as a result.

Decay, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, August 2020
Decay, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, August 2020

Most unusually, Decay has gone for orange and purple colours with green highlights and arrows. More unusually he hasn’t used black outlines for his letters, although his little Chuck character does have an outline. Spelling out DECAY, I see this piece as pivotal in the artist really pushing himself to try new ideas. I love the orange splashes above the A. Looking forward to more developments.

3140. M32 Cycle path (73)

This might look like a solo piece by Decay, but it is actually a collaboration between Decay and Sludge. Now I don’t know much (or indeed anything) about the latter artist, but it appears the pair teamed up at least twice recently, and this is one of those combined efforts.

Decay and Sludge, M32 cycle path, Bristol, August 2020
Decay and Sludge, M32 cycle path, Bristol, August 2020

The work has all the hallmarks of a fabulous Decay burner painted with some bright colours and the customary red Chuck character, but it is the geometric form in the centre in green and purple and some of the surrounding decorations that have been provided by Sludge. As a whole, the piece is bursting with colour and energy – a confection almost. I love it.

3104. M32 Cycle path (68)

This was a quiet one from Decay that snuck out without fanfare. It is great to see Decay experimenting with some new paint textures and ideas, such as spraying large clouds of paint on the wall as a kind of backdrop to his writing.

Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, July 2020
Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, July 2020

The white shading in the letters has a kind of distressed effect, something interior decorators were particularly fond of in the 1980s. The whole thing is high-class and exactly what you’d expect from Decay. There are two crew names on the piece that are HTM – Hold the Mustard, and LRS – Last Radical Souls, they are a loosely based crew operating all over the world since 2001.

3083. M32 roundabout J3 (239)

When people say to me ‘I didn’t recognise you at first with your beard’ I know that I haven’t seen that person for at least five months, and that was the opening of my conversation with Decay recently at a paint jam at the M32 roundabout recently.

Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

Not only was it good to catch up, but it was also amazing watching him bring this piece together. One of the first parts that he added was the large splatters of grey paint, using a rather interesting contraption attached to the cap.

Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

Decay works so effortlessly and with such mastery of his lettering that witnessing this piece coming together was like watching something magical unfold. I believe it to be one of his finest pieces to date and that is a very high bar indeed.

Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020
Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, July 2020

There is a lot going on in this piece, but somehow it looks very simple. Perhaps the lack of black outlines for the letters adds to the simple feel, but the complexity lies in the shades of grey and shadows and the injections of colour and shapes. I love this piece, top notch.

3016. St Werburghs tunnel (173)

At the south entrance to St Werburghs tunnel is this wonderful piece from Decay that just kind of appeared under the radar in a modest and quiet way. I love it when that happens, no fanfare, just an appearance… as if by magic.

Decay, St Werburghs, Bristtol, June 2020
Decay, St Werburghs, Bristtol, June 2020

Decay has managed to introduce a gentle and light summery feel to this piece, and a really clever touch is the light grey shadings at the lower half of the letters that give the piece body and lift it out from the wall a little. The more observant of you might notice that this is a BLM piece and the ‘Chuck’ character makes a second appearance on the left hand side wall with BLM speech bubble.

2747. M32 roundabout J3 (196)

This piece by Decay on the M32 roundabout is from a short while ago, but my first atempt at photographing it was foiled by the sun casting the shadow of a tree across the whole wall and utterly confusing my camera. I had to wait for a dull day!

Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2020
Decay, M32 roundabout, Bristol, February 2020

In keeping with Decay’s ‘new look’ for 2020 he has painted his customary moniker over another word in a full caps, the other word in this instance being DECAY, so we have here a double Decay. I am liking this new concept a lot and am looking forward to where it takes us for the rest of the year.

2684. M32 Cycle path (48)

Another New Year collaboration, they are coming thick and fast, this time from Decay and Lens. Decay is of course well known to me and to readers of Natural Adventures, but this is a debut piece for Lens, which is perhaps not at all surprising given that he comes from Melbourne, Australia and is just visiting.

Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, January 2020
Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, January 2020

I do like it when artists from different places hook up and paint together, it makes for a terrific sense of community. This Decay half of this combo is everything we would come to expect from the artist and ticks so many boxes… the shapes of the letters, the extravagant fills and the little ‘motion’ highlights in black on the outside of the lettering to give a sense of movement and energy to the whole piece. Perfect.

Lens, M32 cycle path, Bristol, January 2020
Lens, M32 cycle path, Bristol, January 2020

Using a similar colour palette to Decay’s, Lens has an altogether different letter shape, much more angular with sharp edges and corners. Lens’ fills and decorations are absolutely magnificent, and this is an accomplished piece of graffiti writing. It is so good to see some work from an Australian artist, and it is great to see that Lens has included a little shout out to Rezwonk, who often teams up with Decay, a nice touch.

2505. M32 Cycle path (34)

Here we have yet another outstanding example of fabulous writing from Decay whose pieces have been an absolute highlight in Bristol this year and my goodness, there have been a great many of them – Check some of them out in this gallery.

Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, October 2019
Decay, M32 cycle path, Bristol, October 2019

In this one Decay has gone for his customary letter shapes, but the fill has a kind of smokey atmospheric feel to it, and the white accents give it a wonderful 3D effect. As always, his little character ‘Chuck’ makes up the letter E in the word DECAY. A lovely piece of writing.

2466. Cheltenham 2019 (5)

How fabulous to see a Decay piece in his old stomping ground of Cheltenham and what a stunner it is too. This writing, that we are all so familiar with has been given the ‘hades’ treatment, looking like the fiery colours of the Earth’s core. Actually it is a bit of a protest piece and has a message: ‘Flames rage while the Amazon burns’

Decay, Paint festival 2019, Chemtenham, September 2019
Decay, Paint festival 2019, Chemtenham, September 2019

I visited the festival twice, once on the Friday and again on the Saturday, but although I missed Decay painting this, I did catch up with him for a short while, and as ever it was a real pleasure. Like so many of his peers, he is so modest about his work which really has hit a new level this year.

2333. Devon Road (12)

I have seen so many recent pieces by Decay, where the one I am looking at feels to me like it is the best one so far. This time, I’m not sure that sequence can continue, because this piece just off Devon Road is close to perfect in my eyes.

Decay, Devon Road, Bristol, July 2019
Decay, Devon Road, Bristol, July 2019

This form of his name is a familiar sight all over Bristol and indeed in Natural Adventures, but this one is of the highest quality in terms of location, colour selection, shading and fills and background. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and it is just brilliant. There may be people reading this who don’t really ‘get’ graffiti writing, I used to be one myself, but all I can tell you is that this is good, very, very good.