It has been sad to witness the downfall of graffiti spots in the Stokes Croft area under the relentless march of gentrification. I understand that redevelopment is part and parcel of the growing up of a city, it is just a shame that local communities and cultures are swept aside, without any allowance for them. For example the creation of ‘legal walls’ to keep that ‘feel’ of an area. Obviously that goes against the proliferation of clinical, sanitised, overpriced housing that we see emerging in towns and cities across the country.
It is the lack of imagination and creativity that is so upsetting, almost as if town planners and corporate architects have had their ‘fun chips’ removed. It is all about squeezing as much profit out of every square inch of land, no regard for local communities or indeed the natural environment. I don’t see much in the way of creation of proper green spaces accompanying the gentrification agenda. Let’s line our pockets with gold. Greedy fools.
There won’t be many more posts from Moon Street, is my guess, because of this relentless building programme, and many street/graffiti artists seem to have abandoned the area altogether. That is why it was especially gratifying to come across this quick collaboration from Rezwonk and Mena.
Rezwonk has been fairly quite over the last six months, working on other projects not entirely unrelated to his art. This piece has an industrial/construction feel to it, with rivets locking pieces of his letters in place. Modest, but really nicely done. This could be walked past quite easily as a simple throw up, but it is rather more sophisticated than that.
Menaces adopted the same colour scheme, but her fills are rather more straightforward. Both artists have followed the ‘code’ of the colour scheme, and it is one of those collaborations that are joined but not fused. Nice to see.
About a week ago I posted a piece by Mena for the first time on Natural Adventures and it was well overdue. Over the coming weeks and months I intend to free several more Mena pieces from my archives, starting with this one painted in May this year on the M32 cycle path, a favourite haunt of hers.
Mena tends to stick to a regular letter structure, with a central kink and a leaning to the right. The rest is all about the fills, shadows and decorations. It is always great to buff a wall first, it prevents any distractions getting in the way of the piece itself, and in this case sets a neutral background for the dark colours and neon green line running through the piece. Nice tidy work.
A couple of weeks ago I bumped into Paul H in St Werburghs tunnel and he tipped me off that Smak was likely to be painting at the M32 Spot, so naturally my next port of call was to my favourite board under the motorway. There I found not only Smak, but Mena too, both busily spraying.
I have many photographs of Mena’s work, but I think this is the first time I have posted anything, so I guess a bit of a rummage through my archive will be happening in the not too distant future.
On the left of the board is a beautifully worked piece of graffiti writing from Smak. What is noticeable about this is that the light conditions on the two days I visited this piece have presented two different tones, one much yellower than the other – I guess that cameras get pretty goofed up with poor light under the motorway and bright light bleedinng in at the sides. Auto settings simply can’t cope.
On the right is a ‘stock’ piece of writing from Mena. The letters are uniform in size with interesting shapes and Mena really goes to town with some beautiful horizontal fills in wonderful complementary colours. The outcome is very pleasing, and the black 3D shading really helps to lift the whole thing out from the wall. I am really looking forward to sharing more from Mena.