3818. Upfest 2021 75×75 (19)

This enormous mural was one of the first to be completed for the Upfest 75×75 event and is by Emotional Waterfall Art. The piece is a colourful abstract explosion of shapes on a white background – a confetti mural, which is an absolute bugger to photograph and can’t have been all that easy to paint.

Emotional Waterfall Art, Smyth Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Emotional Waterfall Art, Smyth Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

Emotional Waterfall Art is a Bristol-based outfit run an artist who plays hard to get on her website and doesn’t disclose her name, simply that she is the creator of Emotional Waterfall Art. I’m not sure how many murals she has painted before, and I am not familiar with her work, but this is a very impressive introduction.

3814. Muriel Alleyway (5)

Hurrah! For Yoliws ( Yoli Ward-Streeter) a Bristol artist and member of the fabulous Bristol Womxn Mural Collective, hurrah! I say again for this delightful mural in one of Bristol’s less visited street art spots. This mural is bright and full of joy.

Yoliws, Muriel Alleyway, Bristol, July 2021
Yoliws, Muriel Alleyway, Bristol, July 2021

I managed to take these pictures on a bright day and without the trees casting a shadow, which is something of a feat in this particular spot. The character has been painted with Yoliws’ characteristic wobbly lines and the orange body filled with beautiful stars and squiggles. The piece has loads of movement to it and an underlying happiness, which is so great to see. A truly uplifting mural.

3804. Gloucester Road

The wet fish shop on Gloucester Road is a bit of a landmark, and certainly you always know when you are walking past it. At weekends and in the evenings you might get lucky and see the shop when the shutters are down and enjoy this fishy mural from Nina Raines.

Nina Raines, Gloucester Road, Bristol, June 2021
Nina Raines, Gloucester Road, Bristol, June 2021

Although the piece has been here for some time, I only recently walked past it at the right time with a camera handy. As a marine biologist (by training and in my heart) I love seeing marine themed street art and these lobsters, crab and mackerel are just the ticket. Something of a contrast with Nina’s wonderful collaboration piece on the dental practice in Bedminster, showing off her versatility.

3800. Upfest 2021 75×75 (14)

What a terrific way to mark my 3,800th street art post with this magnificent mural tucked away just off North Street in a miniature park called Ebenezer gate pocket park, by Hampshire artist Sian Storey.

Sian Storey, Ebeneezer Pocket Park, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Sian Storey, Ebeneezer Pocket Park, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

The park is so small that it is quite quite difficult to get a full shot of the wall, so it is best visited in the flesh where you can soak up all the beauty and detail from the comfort of a bench. The watercolour effect of the piece brings a light and delicate touch to the wall, and the composition of two hummingbirds surrounded by flowers over a central patterned circle is delightful.

Sian Storey, Ebeneezer Pocket Park, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Sian Storey, Ebeneezer Pocket Park, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

This is a skilfully painted piece that typifies the high standard of murals at this year’s Upfest event, and although things haven’t quite turned out as expected this year, the 75 walls in 75 days initiative has really captured the imagination and will leave a legacy of stunning artwork for both Bristol citizens and visitors alike.

3795. Upfest 2021 75×75 (12)

This little gateway at the back of The Malago was until recently home to a lovely mural by Alex Lucas featuring two white rabbits hares on the phone. Now it has been re-painted as one of Upfest’s 75 new walls in 75 days by Natasha Kirby.

Natasha Kirby, Greville Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Natasha Kirby, Greville Road, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

The new mural is very beautiful indeed, bursting with colourful flowers on a deep blue background and creating a little bit of summertime in this otherwise sunless summer. Natasha is a self-confessed flower obsessive and flowers are at the heart of her design and print work which can be seen on her website. You can see that the mural has a very strong design element and has such balance making it very easy on the eye. This spot is a devil to photograph, because there is nearly always a car parked in front of it. 

This is another Upfest classic.

Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Alex Lucas, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

3791. Upfest 2021 75×75 (11)

We, the citizens of Bristol, have been spoilt by Steve, Emma and the whole Upfest team. In the most trying of circumstances they have pulled off a most remarkable event, or show, lasting 75 days and the painting of 75 walls. As if that wasn’t enough, the legacy of this monumental effort will bring joy to the hearts of many for months and years to come.

Hixxy, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Hixxy, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

This wonderful facade mural is by Hixxy, an artist I have not come across before. As far as I can make out, she is based in London and Liverpool and she describes her work as ‘pop botanical murals’ which looking at this piece makes total sense. This modernist painting features pear blossom and a face that Hixxy dug out from a 1950s archive. It is amazing how much information you can get from Instagram!

The whole piece works really well over the shop front of Kask wine, and Hixxy has very cleverly incorporated the windows into the darker parts of the design so that you hardly notice them. A fine Upfest piece.

3786. Upfest 2021 75×75 (10)

One of my all time favourite artists in Bristol is Hazard, and it is not difficult to understand why.  Her portraits, so full of depth, emotion and colour, can be found dotted around the city, and although many have long-since gone, there are still several to be found. This new piece for the Upfest 75 walls in 75 days initiative, is breathtakingly beautiful. It is also frustratingly difficult to photograph.

Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

I passed by while she was mid-way through painting the piece and was going to stop for a chat, but I could see that she was in full flow and I didn’t really want to disturb her. I rather like the ladder on the side of the building, taking away a little bit of the glamour we might associate with being a muralist.

Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

The piece itself is a gorgeous portrait of a woman in deep red colours with blue hair and a Garland of what looks like clouds and vapours in a pinky orange hue. The connection with nature is obvious, as it is in so many of Hazard’s pieces, with the leaves to the right of the piece.

It is so good to see Hazard back out painting our walls, it has been a quiet eighteen months from her.

3783. Upfest 2021 75×75 (9)

It is a funny thing, but I think that this is the first time I have seen this wall painted with a single piece. It is a long wall with quite a few challenges, such as the notice board and the telegraph poles, but Molly Hawkins has done a splendid job, creating this wonderful mural for Upfest’s 75 walls in 75 days initiative.

Molly Hawkins, Greville Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Molly Hawkins, Greville Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

I have not come across Molly Hawkins before but I understand, from doing a little research, that she is a Bristol-based mural artist and illustrator. I believe she has other murals in Stokes Croft and Bedminster that I am going to have to track down at some point.

In this piece she has concealed a female figure holding a triangle that contained a whole lot of symbolism for the artist. She explains this on her Instagram account as follows:

I read up on the symbolism of a triangle, and found a meaning that resonated with me, and inspired the design for this piece:

‘A triangle represents manifestation, enlightenment, revelation and a higher perspective. It is often used to mark the cycles of growth that lead to a higher state of being. Spiritually, it represents a path towards enlightenment or connection to an omnipresent being.’

A very nice mural and addition to the Upfest event

3748. Upfest 2021 75×75 (3)

I have a feeling that this was the first of this year’s Upfest 75×75 pieces (75 walls painted in 75 days in lieu of a full blow street festival over a long weekend) and is by the magnificent artist Will Barras who is no stranger to Upfest.

Will Barras, St Francis Road, Bristol, May 2021, Upfest 21
Will Barras, St Francis Road, Bristol, May 2021, Upfest 21

There is a lot to love about this piece, in particular the local references to rock climbing, spray-painting and of course the moonlit Clifton suspension bridge. The night scene is painted very cleverly in muted colours to give it that dusk or nighttime feeling which works so well, and the mural seems to suck the light away from its surroundings.

Will Barras, St Francis Road, Bristol, May 2021, Upfest 21
Will Barras, St Francis Road, Bristol, May 2021, Upfest 21

The perspectives and energy of the cyclist seem to create a sense of energy and movement. There is a lot of dynamism in the piece, in spite of its dark tones. Replacing the Caro Pepe piece that existed here before was always going to be a big ask, but Will Barras has risen to the challenge and given us something unusual and rather special.

3709. Upper York Street (25)

One of the golden rules of enjoying urban architecture and culture is to remember to look up. We spend most of our lives looking at where we are going, or worse, looking at our digital screens, that we forget to look back, look around and look up. If we don’t pause to look and enjoy then we risk the world passing us by, and then, what’s the point of anything?

Gage Graphics, Upper York Street, Bristol, May 2021
Gage Graphics, Upper York Street, Bristol, May 2021

The recent piece I featured by Gage Graphics on the front elevation of a new development is actually one of three pieces (that I have found) on the building by Ollie Gillard. This one is high up on the balcony of one of the apartments and is really quite magnificent. Painting on brickwork like this can’t be particularly easy, and it might have been better to have rendered this section of wall prior to commissioning the artwork however the end result is outstanding.

The piece features a cockatoo wearing a headdress made, ironically, of feathers, and singing into a sparkling microphone. In the distance a mountain rises high and at the top left the sun shines with some birds silhouetted against it. I don’t know what the story is but I definitely like the piece.