I have Paul to thank for pointing me in the direction of this amazing Silent Hobo NHS tribute piece in James Street. I would have found it eventually, but not as quickly, and it is always more satisfying finding pieces soon after they have been painted.
Silent Hobo has been pretty busy just lately with some big murals and there is one nearby that is finished, but under scaffolding that seems to have been there forever. This piece is an absolute stunner and injects Silent Hobo’s portrayal of ordinary (extraordinary) Bristol people going about their business, in this case doctors, nurses and care workers to whom we all owe so much, not only during the coronavirus crisis, but always. The piece has context, relevance and purpose and is painted so beautifully with care and love. A wonderful commentary on society in a time of flux and uncertainty. Bravo!
Nothing seems to last for long on any wall at the moment, but if you are going to get painted over, then it might as well be by an epic Nightwayss piece like this one. This large coronavirus piece is a tribute to NHS staff and another fine piece cataloging the crazy times we are living in.
Nightwayss has used the double wall space well to accommodate the figure lying on its back. Starting with the background which rather nicely ‘hosts’ the whole body, Nightwayss has used a lilac wash with a whole bunch of purple viruses dotted about.
In the body itself, little scenes are played out , for example a patient and two medical staff on the far left and some microbiologists at work in the torso. This is quite an unusual piece by the artist, especially as I can’t find a monkey which normally make an appearance in his work. A special piece marking a particular moment in our history. (Note to self, run a gallery of coronavirus pieces in about a year).
Another artist who has been really busy lately is John D’oh whose running commentary on all aspects of the coronavirus epidemic has given us a record of events through the medium of street art. This way of capturing contemporary events has been a major aspect of art through the ages, and although much of the art is ephemeral some remains and helps to tell future generations what happened in the past and where they came from. John D’oh’s stories are important ones to tell.
This lovely stencil on the side of a ramp at St George skate park, celebrates the fabulous and unrelenting hard work of NHS workers through the pandemic with more than a little nod to Wolverine of X-Men fame. Slightly sinister, slightly edgy but with a great heart. A nice piece from John D’oh.
The public conscience of Bristol is often provided by Object…, a little bit like Jimini Cricket in Pinocchio. If there is an issue about common decency and care of your fellow citizens, then Object… will be there as a champion. So there are no surprises that this artist produced this coronavirus piece during lock down.
Object… has close associations with the PRSC outdoor gallery, which he seems to curate, so this wall in Jamaica Street was a safe bet. I love this piece. It says all the things I would want to say and reminds us of a time when compliance with the rules was the norm. The recent relaxations following on from the Dominic Cummings scandal have added up to a sense of selfishness and free-for-all that I just don’t get. Sometimes I truly despair.
This piece is beautifully illustrated with excellent illustrations of NHS workers and is painted with love. Nice one.
On the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft wall in Jamaica Street, this simple and kind collaboration celebrates our amazing (underfunded) NHS, in a gesture of love for all the hard work they are doing in this difficult time. The collaboration by 3Dom and Sepr is a collaboration in name only as the artists each painted their halves separately on different days, following social distancing guidelines.
On the left is an exquisite piece of script writing in NHS blue. 3Dom has managed to write these delicate letters with the tops and bottoms appearing to vaporize into a white mist. The subtle cream shading just to the right of the letters helps them to stand out a bit more. This is beautiful, technical writing.
Painted the following morning is this wonderful heart by Sepr. Simply done and conveying all the right emotions for the circumstances. I don’t know how he does it, but Sepr can even manage to get his retro style into a heart. Fantastic.
As I have said before, we must also celebrate all other key workers and public/civil services that are keeping us all safe and well.
All over Bristol (and the UK) pictures of rainbows have been appearing in windows to show our amazing NHS workers that we appreciate everything they do for us and support them through this troubling time.
* In the UK the NHS offers a bowel cancer screening appointment to all adults at age 55. I had mine today, and thankfully all seems to be ok. It is free screening programmes like this that do so much to protect the health of the nation that are at risk of being ‘privatised’ should we leave Europe without a deal. Trump already has his eyes on our health service, and I am sure he is not alone.
You can always rely on ObjectØØØ to be very present when there is some political action going on. At the start of March he and DNT took over several of the arches at the Carriageworks and posted a huge and rather crude protest banner piece for a march in London, protesting against cuts in the National Health Service (NHS).
The highlight had to be the central picture of Theresa May kissing Donald Trump, obviously referencing their little ‘love in’ when May visited Trump shortly after his electoral triumph, also referencing the potential privatisation plans that the Tories have with American health insurance companies, also referencing this unforgettable image of Trump kissing Boris Johnson by the Paintsmiths prior to the Brexit vote. Who’d have thought we would be in this dreadful state right here right now. Grief.
While technically not as strong as the Paintsmiths piece, the image still has impact. Power to the people!