3430. St Luke’s Road (3)

This is the third stunning mural I have recently posted by Gage Graphics on the rear wall of house on St Luke’s Road overlooking Victoria Park. I had seen images of this piece before on the Internet, but it wasn’t until I went looking for the new Banksy piece in Totterdown that I stumbled across it.

Gage Graphics, St Luke's Road, Bristol, December 2020
Gage Graphics, St Luke’s Road, Bristol, December 2020

It is a great thing when neighbours collaborate and decide to commission pieces like this, and this iconic row of houses has about six or seven noteworthy murals that do so much to brighten up the area. In this piece, Gage Graphics has included a couple of iconic Bristol characters from Aardman Studios, Gromit (peering out of the tree trunk) and Shaun the Sheep in the centre of the moral. Other Bristol references are  the SS Great Britain designed and built by I. K. Brunel and in the sky a Balloon gently drrifts by. On the right of the mural a surfer is catching an enormous wave. This is a fun and creative piece and a fine addition to the others in the road.

Gage Graphics, St Luke's Road, Bristol, December 2020
Gage Graphics, St Luke’s Road, Bristol, December 2020

3396. Cheltenham Road

This is the perfect way to end 2020 with a spanking new and rather beautiful mural on the Cheltenham road just before the Arches heading north. The mural is by Alex Lucas and covers the entire wall of what was Flour and Ash but is now a new vegan Mezze bar called Koo Cha

Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2020
Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2020

I had been anticipating the unveiling of this piece for some time as I live nearby and had seen Alex painting it on a large scaffold erected in front of the building. It certainly didn’t disappoint, in fact I think it might be one of my favourite pieces by the illustrator/muralist. 

Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2020
Alex Lucas, Cheltenham Road, Bristol, December 2020

The cheetahs are absolutely stunning and stand out well on the blue background and the flowers are a beautiful touch that ‘glue’ the whole thing together. We are so lucky in Bristol to have Alex Lucas whose work lights up the city and brings such happiness to its citizens. Bravo Alex, bravo!

It has been an extraordinary year for street art and graffiti in Bristol and around the country. A succession of lockdowns and an extended period of social distancing behaviours haven’t done anything to stem the tide of wonderful artwork and I have had difficulty keeping up with it all. I think this year has been the most productive since I started Natural Adventures almost six years ago. The quality of work has increased too and there has been an influx of artists from the UK and beyond. 

Some artists have gone to ground for periods this year, reflecting what had been a troubling time, and work patterns have gone haywire too which will have affected some people’s ability to choose when they can make time for street art. In spite of it all, it has been an outstanding year on Bristol’s streets. Here’s to more in 2021.

Happy New Year all. Bring on the new!

3395. St Luke’s Road (2)

On the eve of 2021, it think it is appropriate to post this beautiful piece by Gage Graphics as a way of looking forward to the summer when we can be ourselves once again and figure out what our world looks like. It might not be like it was, but it will surely be better than right now.

Gage Graphics, St Luke's Road, Bristol, December 2020
Gage Graphics, St Luke’s Road, Bristol, December 2020

This large sunflower mural is one of several on this row of houses that overlook Victoria Park, and represents one of the best ‘free galleries’ in Bristol. Gage Graphics is responsible for several of them. There is something very special about sunflowers, I’m not sure what magic they possess, but I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t marvel at their magnificence. I think that they grow from a seed in such a short time and produce large happy flowers adds to their popularity.

Gage Graphics, St Luke's Road, Bristol, December 2020
Gage Graphics, St Luke’s Road, Bristol, December 2020

Gage Graphics has captured the majesty of the sunflower perfectly and in addition the services it provides to pollinating insects such as bumblebees. This is an outstanding mural and emblem of hope.

3383. Martin Street

I can’t think of a better piece to post on Christmas Day than this beautiful mural from  Zoe Power tucked away in Bedminster. Sadly it is yet another prize wall that nearly always has a car parked outside and this is the best view of it I could get.

Zoe Power, Martin Street, Bristol, December 2020
Zoe Power, Martin Street, Bristol, December 2020

Zoe Power is known for her wonderful and bright colourful work which often has an element of symmetry about it. In this piece two characters are caught in an embrace where they almost fuse and become one, it is wonderful work and although simple on the outside, full of sophistication and class.

Zoe Power, Martin Street, Bristol, December 2020
Zoe Power, Martin Street, Bristol, December 2020

Whenever I see her work, I am always reminded of the great Matisse, and that is the biggest complement I can pay. Well worth seeking this out.

3376. St Luke’s Road (1)

The great thing about visiting areas of Bristol one doesn’t normally go to is that you open your eyes to a whole new culture and architectural environment. So when visiting Totterdown to photograph the new Banksy recently, I was exposed to quite a few pieces and murals that I had been aware of but had never seen. One row of houses in particular caught the eye due to the very large murals on their garden-facing walls, which could be viewed from the road below. The row of houses is on St Luke’s Road.

Gage Graphics, St Luke's Road, Bristol, December 2020
Gage Graphics, St Luke’s Road, Bristol, December 2020

The artist of this mural (along with several others) is Gage Graphics aka Ollie Gillard and who writes graffiti under the name Serif. This is an outstanding mural that shows a section cut through the ground, exposing different rock strata that lead up to the root system of a tree. The tree is bending in an autumn breeze and fits perfectly between two windows. All the while a milky daytime full moon looks on. What a wonderful thing to have on your house, and a fabulous gift for the citizens of the area to enjoy.

3260. Nelson Street (13)

Sometimes I’m just not quick enough off the mark. This lovely collaboration between Mr Penfold and RichT is a case in point. I had seen the piece on Instagram and knew exactly where it was, ut by the time I got organised to check it out it had been tagged with the word WONK. Not really a surprise in this part of town, but really annoying nonetheless.

Mr Penfold and RichT, Nelson Street, Bristol, September 2020
Mr Penfold and RichT, Nelson Street, Bristol, September 2020

The mural is one of those ‘true’ collaborations which is a blend of the two artist’s styles incorporated into the one piece. The flowers are courtesy of RichT and the abstract shapes are Mr Penfold’s. I think that it works exceptionally well and I would love to see more of these blended collaborations in the future.

3241. North Street

It took a little while to get there, but this outstanding mural from Sophie Long has been well worth the wait. The row of shops in North Street, which includes the Upfest shop in the middle, is becoming a bit of a showcase, with four of the five similar buildings now boasting a fine mural. Most interestingly all of these murals are by female artists. I reckon that we should be lining up Hazard for the remaining slot… That would be my first choice.

Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, October 2020
Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, October 2020

Sophie Long is well known for her paintings of wildlife and use of bright colours and in this mural she doesn’t disappoint. Four bumblebees surround the top window of the building with rays of bright colour shooting out from the centre. Often Sophie Long will pay attention to anatomical accuracy, but in this mural, the bumblebees have a slightly cartoonish appearance. This is a fine addition to the existing murals in this row.

Zoe Power, Gemma Compton and Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, October 2020
Zoe Power, Gemma Compton and Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, October 2020

Bex Glover, North Street, Bristol, July 2020
Bex Glover, North Street, Bristol, July 2020

3223. King Street (2)

I fear that Mr Penfold is an artist who is probably a little bit under represented in Natural Adventures, not because I don’t like his work, but more that as a designer who works mostly on commissions his work can be spread about the city and is rarely to be found in the more common spots that I visit.

Mr Penfold, King Street, Bristol, September 2020
Mr Penfold, King Street, Bristol, September 2020

It would seem that Mr Penfold has a repeat commission for painting this particular archway because I have seen other designs of his here before. Unmistakably the work of the artist this is a little different from many of his pieces. The shapes have solid fills rather than patterns, but it is the straight lines and the shadows they cast that are a bit of a give away. This is a really classy design from a classy designer.

3096. North Street

I think that this is the largest mural I have seen from Bex Glover, and it is an absolute beauty. The recently completed piece is in good company, being adjacent to large works by Gemma Compton and Zoe Power.

Bex Glover, North Street, Bristol, July 2020
Bex Glover, North Street, Bristol, July 2020

Two foxes tail to tail and nose to nose are the centrepiece of this typically ornate piece from Bex Glover, all set on a dark turquoise background. There is a symmetry to the piece that is interrupted only by a few subtle differences. There is a small quote at the bottom of the piece that reads ‘stronger together’, a narrative that has run through the coronavirus epidemic and the black lives matter movement.

Bex Glover, North Street, Bristol, July 2020
Bex Glover, North Street, Bristol, July 2020

The foxes, such an iconic symbol of Bristol, represent the togetherness talked about and convey a positive message. This is a lovely new piece from Bex Glover.

 

2790. Gloucester Road

I have waited a long while to photograph this mural from Mr Penfold, mainly because it is not in a place I frequent all that much, there isn’t any other street art to speak of just in this spot, so it requires a special trip or an occasion when I happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Mr Penfold, Gloucester Road, Bristol, February 2020
Mr Penfold, Gloucester Road, Bristol, February 2020

That time was about a month ago on one of those rare sunny days in an otherwise very wet (the wettest on record) February. This mural is what Mr Penfold does so well and so distinctively. In his ‘liquorice allsort’ colours and 1980’s designer patterns Mr Penfold presents with a pleasing abstract pece that turns a boring wall into a point of interest. This is most likely a comission from the shop or possibly from the Business Improvement District. A nice piece.