4853. Porto (11)

Hazul, Porto, Portugal, June 2022
Hazul, Porto, Portugal, June 2022

Although I have more than enough Bristol pieces I want to share on Natural Adventures, I feel it would be wrong not to also feature a few more pieces from my trip to Porto in June this year. It is remarkable how different these pieces are from the kind of thing we see back home, and it illustrates how each country/city has its own distinct style and culture.

Hazul, Porto, Portugal, June 2022
Hazul, Porto, Portugal, June 2022

This small selection is from Hazul, who would appear to be the most prolific artist in Porto, alongside Costah. Judging from the aged look of some of Hazul’s pieces, I would guess that the artist has been painting the city walls for quite some time.

Hazul, Porto, Portugal, June 2022
Hazul, Porto, Portugal, June 2022

Hazul specialises in beautiful abstract designs, normally painted in soft muted colours, and quite often incorporates a crystal, acting like a signature. I think that I have enough photographs of Hazul’s work to do a little gallery, which demonstrates both the endurance and proliferation of the artist’s work.

4808. Brook Road (3)

Sled One, Brook Road, Bristol, November 2022
Sled One, Brook Road, Bristol, November 2022

I have said it countless times before on Natural Adventures, and will unapologetically say it again, that some of the most satisfying rewards can be found when diverting course from the familiar. Yesterday, I switched up my spots a bit and decided to visit the Star and Garter, because I haven’t been there for a while. On arrival, I spotted a large mural down Brook Street, that I hadn’t been aware of. As I approached I felt the excitement rising, and was blown away by this magnificent piece by Sled One.

Sled One, Brook Road, Bristol, November 2022
Sled One, Brook Road, Bristol, November 2022

This morning I took a quick look at Sled One’s Instagram account, and it turns out he painted it back in August, which makes me feel a bit useless. The mural itself seems to be an eclectic mix of components slapped on the wall resembling a collage of memories. A cat, razor wire, a knight’s horse, some flowers and a merry-go-round, with a rather sinister body precariously lying horizontally on a seat. The stuff of dreams and nightmares.

Sled One, Brook Road, Bristol, November 2022
Sled One, Brook Road, Bristol, November 2022

There is a photorealism in this piece that I wouldn’t ordinarily associate with Sled One, as more commonly he paints cartoony surreal pieces. His talent, whatever the style, is immense. My favourite part of this mural has to be the cat, although the razor wire does add a sense of threat that is rather uncomfortable. What a privilege to stumble across this piece.

4754. Upfest 2022 (51)

Philth, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Philth, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

In one of the prettiest backwaters immediately off North Street is the perfect street art wall. This miniature park, ‘Ebenezer Pocket Park’, has benefitted from some stunning murals over the years, and at Upfest 22 it was the turn of Philth.

Philth, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Philth, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

Philth is perhaps best known for his floral designs, one of which can still be seen in North Street Green, not far away from this piece. In this outstanding mural, which has a retro feel to it, Philth has painted a beautiful young lady in amongst an ocean of mushrooms and fungi. The ribs under the caps have been cleverly observed and recreated. What makes the piece special is the green tones that have been used and the splashes of red, lifting the whole design to another level. A truly wonderful Upfest piece.

4745. St Andrews Road (4)

Alex Lucas, St Andrews Road, Bristol, October 2022
Alex Lucas, St Andrews Road, Bristol, October 2022

I don’t often go to this part of Montpelier, but I had been to the Italian delicatessen in Picton Street a couple of weeks ago and decided to go a little wander. I was rewarded by finding this very recently completed mural by Alex Lucas, and what a beauty it is.

Alex Lucas, St Andrews Road, Bristol, October 2022
Alex Lucas, St Andrews Road, Bristol, October 2022

I think that this wall was very much off the radar in the street art community, as the first I saw of it on social media, was a few days later from Alex Lucas herself, which made me think that I must have been there very shortly after completion and scaffolding removal. This is a classic piece of Lucas artwork, with a fabulous design of two birds with a floral accompaniment. This is truly magnificent stuff. It won’t be long before every building in Montpelier will be adorned with one of her works. 

4724. Elton Street (11)

Slakarts, Elton Street, Bristol, September 2022
Slakarts, Elton Street, Bristol, September 2022

It was a genuine pleasure to see this lovely piece from Slakarts, because I haven’t seen much of his work lately. I am hoping that his absence from the streets is an indication that his work is going well. Balancing work and pleasure can be a challenge, but you’ve got to keep those shekels coming in.

Slakarts, Elton Street, Bristol, September 2022
Slakarts, Elton Street, Bristol, September 2022

Adopting the same colour scheme as the other pieces in this collection of Elton Street pieces, Slakarts has painted a rather special mural, with a lot more content than his customary stylised portrait. There is a semi-rural landscape, some high rise flats and flowers, accompanying the character. On-point and very clean, this is a wonderful piece from Slakarts.

4723. M32 Spot (144)

Creamylines, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2022
Creamylines, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2022

It is interesting how some artists simply appear out of nowhere, without warning. Sometimes you get to watch an artist from the start, working on their style and developing their skills, but at other times a fully ‘up to speed’ artist just starts painting, either a visitor to Bristol or a recent mover to the city.

Creamylines, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2022
Creamylines, M32 Spot, Bristol, September 2022

Creamylines is one of those ‘just appeared’ artists, and three new pieces under the M32 and another one in Easton are there for all to enjoy. His style is so very different from anything else we have in Bristol, and you can see how he goes about his work in this Instagram post on the artist’s thread. It is a privilege to welcome him to the Bristol scene.

4558. Porto (10)

This is the last in this short sequence of pieces from Porto, but for me they represent a fun departure from the focus on Bristol street art, and make an introduction to the different styles that you can find in different cultures around the world.

Mesk, Porto, Portugal, June 2022
Mesk, Porto, Portugal, June 2022

The fact that I am sharing this piece with you at all can be attributed to the street art hunter’s philosophy of being guided by curiosity – what lies down that alley…? should I walk just a little bit further…? Had I not followed my instinct, I would never have found this magnificent piece by Mesk in an alleyway off the beaten track. The soft tones in browns and pinks, are a bit of as trademark of this artist, and work really well together. The cartoon-style is also really appealing. I have another couple of pieces by Mesk from this trip and look forward to sharing them with you soon.

4519. Upfest 2022 (16)

I have met Goin only once and it was at an Upfest a few years ago. He had just finished a stencil piece in a spot that was not a recognised Upfest wall (let’s call it) and was looking rather sheepish. I tried to strike up a conversation with him, but he wished to keep his anonymity intact and was backwards in coming forwards (and who can blame him). Things have moved on since then, and Goin has created this magnificent wall for Upfest 2022.

Goin, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Goin, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

I had to have a couple of goes at photographing this piece, because there were shadows running across the wall in my first attempts. This was one of the first walls to be completed at this year’s Upfest, and is a real statement piece. Big, bold and simple the girl in greyscale is wearing a beret, but the only revolution here is for love. The only colour is a red badge on her beret and the heart cushion she is clasping to her chest. The piece feels important and significant and is a strong message in these uncertain and troubling times.

4514. Nelson Street (15)

Felix Braun (FLX), Nelson Street, Bristol, June 2022
Felix Braun (FLX), Nelson Street, Bristol, June 2022

Anyone who visits the centre of Bristol can’t have missed that there has been a lot of redevelopment work going on in Nelson Street, Broad Street and the surrounding area. This rather seedy backwater has, over the last two years undergone a bit of a face lift and is being opened soon as a huge, 250 bedroom, hotel owned by the Clayton chain. Let’s hope they can find enough workers to staff it! Unlike many developments, this one has retained some significant existing murals and commissioned a new one by the old master, Felix Braun.

Felix Braun (FLX), Nelson Street, Bristol, June 2022
Felix Braun (FLX), Nelson Street, Bristol, June 2022

Felix Braun or FLX is one of the godfathers of Bristol street art and author of the book ‘Children of the Can’ a ‘must-have’ for enthusiasts of the Bristol scene. His artwork has taken on a highly designed stylised look in recent years, and this huge mural is a gorgeous reminder of his talent. Abstract figures at the base of the piece draw your eyes in before sending them upwards towards the giant figure and it’s shadow. There is something very pleasing about the piece overall, and it is great to see FLX’s work in the heart of the city.

4513. Porto (5)

I enjoy enormously seeing street art when I am visiting other parts of the UK or other countries, but I am conflicted when it comes to writing about what I see, because invariably I know nothing about the artists. This magnificent mural by Tamara Alves is a case in point.

Tamara Alves, Porto, Portugal, June 2022
Tamara Alves, Porto, Portugal, June 2022

I’m not quite sure what area of Porto we were in when we saw this, but the image is a striking one with a beautiful woman wrapped in an embrace of arms and hands. Tamara Alves is a massively talented artist from Lisbon, and you can read more about her on her very nice website. This was one of several large murals we saw in Porto.