Nevla was late to the party at Upfest 2018 and as a result I didn’t manage to get a final picture of his rather cookie panda. On the upside though I did at last get to meet the elusive cartoon king of Bristol street art, and what a nice fellow he is too.
I made a few notes on my iPhone about our conversation, but unfortunately I lost them when the motherboard gave up a few weeks ago. A quiet class act who seems to enjoy painting alone, Nevla adds something to the Bristol scene that is unerringly optimistic, which is a tonic when so much around us is in utter chaos.
You can tell this one is from the archives, not just from the date on the caption, but because it is on the wall of the Carriageworks, which for the last several months has been behind fences and screens while the building is being demolished and reconstructed for ‘affordable’ housing.
It is a quick one by Nevla, I think the last of his that I have from a while ago. It is a nice simple cartoon character, and from the look of it he was running low on paint. Nevla’s work always has a light-hearted touch, which is refreshing really against a landscape of bile and hatred that exists in the UK at the moment.
Even though it is becoming more difficult to find clean walls to work on in The Bearpit, and the Council are taking more of an interest in artistic activities, some of Bristol’s finest are still able to make their mark. This is a fine piece by Nevla.
What makes this quite unusual for a Nevla piece is the inclusion of colour. Most of the work I have seen before has been two or three colours only. I don’t know if this is a budget driven thing or a fast getaway thing, but this time he seems to have branched out a little. His cartoon style continues to keep up a happy and light-hearted perspective in this little corner of Bristol.
The nice thing about going through archives is finding little gems, like this one from Nevla. As well as his cartoon characters, what I like about Nevla’s work is his messages which are almost always positive as in this piece ‘fun, not anger’.
In a troubled world it is all too easy to snipe from the sidelines or always take a cynical slant on things, but every now and again it is great to come up for air and see the good in things and be positive. Nevla has a lot of what I could do with!
Incidentally I cannot recommend the book ‘Coming up for Air’ by George Orwell highly enough. My stepfather suggested I read it (and a whole bunch of other books) a few years ago. A great book and not one you hear much about.
In the little lane that used to be the drug dealing centre of Bristol until a police clampdown some eighteen months ago is this little door and on it a small piece from Nevla. I’ve not seen any of his work for a while now, so it was good to come across this recently.
I am a big fan of his cartoon characters, nearly always in black and white and set on a solid colour background. There is a simplicity about the pieces and usually a little bit of cheeky humour about them. If you look carefully, you can see another face by Nevla just to the left of the door.
Well what can I say about Nevla? Well the first thing I can say is that I met him at Upfest and had a good long chat with him…and what a decent fellow he is, just like so many of the street/graff artists in Bristol. I’ll keep my powder dry about our conversation for when I post his Upfest piece.
This is a lovely piece, that can be easily missed, on the ramp down into The Bearpit on the north side of the roundabout. The fun cartoon character is accompanied by the words ‘stay fresh’, and I think this piece certainly manages to do this. I am really enjoying witnessing the progress of this artist, who tells me he has been spraying walls for about a year now.
Splat! The more I see of Nevla’s work, the more I want to see. He is emerging as one of my favourite local artists and is becoming bolder with his pieces and his locations. Usually working in only two or three colours he creates these characters and sometimes introduces little philosophical comments to add depth to his work.
I particularly like the writing (ALVEN – NEVLA – get it?), where he has given a double line accent in the shadow of his letters which really lifts them off the wall. Beautifully done. He has also used a vanishing point for his 3D work, similar to the way Elvs does. This is a wholly satisfying piece by Nevla…upwards and onwards.