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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the most stunning collaborations of Upfest 2018 was this magnificent piece by Nuno Viegas and Tymon De Laat on the side of the Coopers Arms, where the polar bear piece by Andrew Burns Colwill was painted the year before.
This piece was painted in two halves separated by a horizontal strip, a feature of the wall which was put to good use by the artists. The bottom half which features the gloved hand of the character tossing a spray can fat cap is by Nuno Viegas. The detail in the latex glove with paint on it is simply breathtaking.
The top half of the collaboration is by Tymon De Laat and presents us with one of his superb trademark portraits, where the face is divided up into different shaded areas in a symmetrical pattern almost as if the subject is wearing face paint. This is such a strong design idea and makes his work istantly recognisable.
This was truly one of the best pieces of the whole festival, and if you don’t believe me go down and take a look while you still have a chance and check out the detail.
Walking the dog one lunchtime a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to meet two lovely artists busy at work at the farm end of St Werburghs tunnel. I recognised the work of Morny instantly, his naive style is both eye-catching and compelling, so I went and introduced myself. I was touched that he seemed to know about my Instagram/Twitter accounts, but I don’t know if he has ventured as far as Natural Adventures just yet. He introduced me to his painting partner Billy, who was painting a bright and colourful mural to his right.
I’m glad I took these WIP (Work in Progress) shots because when I returned a couple of days later to take pictures of the finished wall, it had been painted over. I cringed a little, because I told them that turnover on this particular wall was quite slow and that their work would be there for a while. Just shows what I know huh? Billy’s work reminds me a little of Zoe Power’s, because of its simple form and colourful fills. I do hope she isn’t put off by the rapidity of the disappearance of her piece and that she paints more walls this year.
There was one remaining part of Morny’s piece that survived for my return, but it only really hints at what had been there. Such a pity. I guess it is impossible to be everywhere all the time.
I caught sight of this amazing new mural by Conrico from the M32 and I was driving past a week or two back. I had to go back and take another look and found that it is a large commission piece for the ‘Jerusalem Falafel’ shop in Newfoundland Road.
Conrico is an artist who I have only really known about for the last year or so but his work has certainly made an impact on me and he has featured in Natural Adventures rather a lot, which is a good thing. This bright and colourful mural features a young man in a red shirt and baseball cap grasping a wrap framed in a wall of fruit and vegetables. It is all very Conrico. It would be interesting to see how other Bristol artists might have played out this brief… now there’s an idea.
I have been aware of this piece for a little while, but it is only when I changed my walking pattern in the Dean Lane area that I found it. It was such a wonderful surprise to find an enormous mural like this when I wasn’t actually looking for it.
The artist Xenz is an absolute master at painting this kind of fantastical scene. In this piece he has painted a conventional countryside view at dawn (I think) with his trademark bee eaters (although these might be parakeets) strung out along a telegraph wire. I imagine that this was a commission, or a very nice gift from Xenz to a friend. It is sure to go down as a classic Bristol mural and one for me to upload onto the Street Art Cities app when I have a moment.
This piece is bound to turn a few heads as it is on a corner in the road where people will be driving slowly – it will be particularly prominent for those driving North. Xenz has a strong relationship with Bristol, I think he used to live here, so it is always a real pleasure to see his work, especially one as large and prominent as this. I am sure this will become a local landmark and is one for the street art tour circuit.
Zoe Power has had quite an impact on Natural Adventures recently and this magnificent Upfest 2018 piece reinforces her strong portfolio. I like to call her work mural work as distinct from the broader term street art because although it is street art, it has an element of measure, control and finesse that sets it apart.
I didn’t actually find this long wall at the festival itself, but a few days later when I was patrolling the area loooking for hidden extras and gems and in this piece I certainly found one. Zoe Power’s bold work is striking and captivating and her solid fills keep her work clean and stylised. I know that one of her influences is the French artist Matisse, and you can really see it in her work.
This is quite a difficult wall to present in all its glory because of its length, so I have only posted a couple of key panels, but I think you get a sense of the whole thing. The mural, I assume, is entitled ‘Deeds not words’, so at this point I’ll put a sock in it.