The same place, the same artist, the same year (2017) as my last post, but a different character piece. Many readers will be familiar with Nevergiveup’s rabbits, but fewer might remember that he went through a phase of painting monsters. It is funny how he abandoned these in favour of the bunnies.
This one in The Bearpit (RIP) is beautifully sprayed in chrome on a red background… a rather gentle looking monster, not very menacing. These framed boards in The Bearpit were a perfect place for artists to showcase their work. Unfortunately taggers and some antisocial behaviour ultimately led to the removal of these boards and application of anti-graffiti paint. I haven’t been to The Bearpit for about two years, but nobody can take away my memories.
The great thing about looking back is that you get to see what artist’s work looked like some time ago and how they might have developed over time. This fabulous pair of rabbits from Nevergiveup (#followmyrabbits) is from April 2018 and is notably different from more recent incarnations of the characters in two respects: the amount of decoration on the torso is much more limited, and the ears much smaller than on the 2020 versions.
We have to remember that the artist has only been in Bristol for about three years, it feels much longer because of the abundance and spread of rabbits, but in street art terms it is a relatively short time. The image below is a more recent incarnation pf a Nevergiveup rabbit, can you see the differences?
I think I said this last time I posted a piece by Nevergiveup but I will say it again because it is still pertinent… gone but not forgotten. I discovered a new (to me) graffiti spot in the Cumberland Basin recently, and one which I think Nevergiveup also discovered a little while before he left Bristol.
This rabbit looks like it has had a little dose of nuclear radiation, but apart from the extra eyes ears and tooth it seems to be in the rudest of health. I love the location of this rabbit and for me it really adds to the quality of the piece. Still plenty to come from #followmyrabbits.
In the depths of St Werburghs tunnel is this fine piece of writing by Nevergiveup (NGU) which I think, but am not certain, spells out ZBOK. The colours set on a contrasting dark background work rather well in the difficult artificial light of the tunnel.
NGU has created horizontal layers in his letters which blend seamlessly from top to bottom. Those of you who recognise the name will know this artist as the creator of #followmyrabbits which have made dozens of appearances on Natural Adventures.
Castle Park is not particularly known for its graffiti, there are not many walls and there is little or no culture of it, it was surprising therefore to find this little bit of ‘decorated’ wall and who should be there?… Nevergiveup and one of his rabbits.
The nature of his #followmyrabbits concept means that he is definitely the most ubiquitous artist in Bristol, more even than the most prolific taggers, who tend to stay within their districts. This is a particularly nice bunny photographed on a particularly nice day and painted on an interestingly textured wall that gives it a soft spongy look.
These rabbits have bred like well… err… rabbits. There are dozens of them all over the city, and I have lost count of how many I have posted or photographed, and still I have a whole load in my archive. This particular one is relatively recent I think, as I pass this way quite frequently and hadn’t noticed it before last week.
Nevergiveup, or Nevergiveup Familia (NGU) to give him his full tag lives up to his name and has a determination to brighten up the city with his bunnies, while still keeping his hand in with some graffiti writing. I’m not sure how he finds the energy. It would take a hard soul to consider this bunny as vandalism. What would you prefer? A standard green/grey utility box with nothing attractive about it or a cheerful bunny bringing a smile to commuters’ faces? It is a no brainer, but I am waiting for the local headlines that announce Bristol City Council’s stiffening resolve to eradicate such vandalism. I hope it doesn’t come to that, I and many others in Bristol are fond of NGU’s rabbits.