I don’t visit this area nearly as often as I used to. In the olden days when I walked to the office (a dim and distant memory) I would often take a little detour up Nine Tree Hill and along Armada Place. My reduction in walking this way has coincided with a significant downward shift in turnover of pieces in the locality, indeed across much of the Stokes Croft area. It was rather a nice surprise therefore to come across these three little tag-pieces from PWA crew’s Face 1st, Soap and Nightwayss.
I am a bit of a fan of decorating utility boxes, which in their regimented green or black monochrome colours are eyesores that pollute every street in every village, town and city in the UK. Decorating these boxes is not legal, but in my view most welcome, and in some cities around the world is actively welcomed or even commissioned… imaging that. The three pieces here are quick throw ups, probably painted in haste. The monkey is by Nightwayss, the face by Face 1st and the mouth/skull by Soap. These are the key signature elements of each of the three artists.
The three artists have decorated one box each and brightened up this little corner immeasurably. I am sure that some people will see this as thoughtless vandalism and be quite angry about it. This is the spice of life.
DNT has been one of those artists who has pretty much gone to ground over the last year and I have seen very little of his work. It was a lovely surprise then to find this delightful and somewhat out-of-character piece from him on the side of an eatery that has had a bit of a makeover.
The El Jeffe José Cubans sandwich shop is so perfect for its Stokes Croft location and it is wonderful that they have turned to a local artist to decorate its side wall, which is at permanent risk of being tagged. A great piece like this from a local artist might see it given some respect.
DNT has painted some lovely flowers on a yellow cloud background, which is far removed from his robotic-monster pieces that we are more accustomed to. This is perfect for this spot and outlet and adds some colour and brightness to this little corner of Stokes Croft.
It has been a little while since DNT or Akarat graced these pages, so here is a reasonably recent collaboration, or perhaps better, co-location of these two great local graffiti artists. The dragon is by DNT (Bruno Dante) and the fish on the utility box are by Akarat. I didn’t see the fish the first time, which is something of a gaffe for a marine and fisheries biologist who prides himself on observational skills.
This is a fairly quiet collaboration tucked on a side street just off the main drag of Stokes Croft. I love to see their work, and together with other local artists, they really do keep things fresh. Great dragon, great fish…different styles meeting.
Sometimes you can hang on to a photograph for so long that it becomes a bit of an albatross. I took these pictures back in January this year, and I have some that are even older. The reason that I haven’t posted them until now is that although I know who the street artist is – Kleiner shames – who writes FOIS in his pieces, I don’t know anything about him, so I don’t have a lot to say.
I think I have actually photographed him working on a piece in Hill Street, but I’ll save that for another time. Other than that, Kleiner Shames remains a complete enigma. His work is very elaborate wildstyling of his name, with a touch of what I would call art deco influences…I think it is the curves. This work can be found on the corner between Nine Tree Hill and Armada Place, another Stokes Croft hotspot.
The observant viewers might see an iconic Rowdy crocodile on the building behind. More about that in a future post.
A fabulous protest piece by one of my favourite artists – Sepr.
Bristol is a city with a history of rioting…perhaps it is something to do with our independent spirit (I say this as a Londoner who now calls Bristol home).
In 2011 there were riots in Stokes Croft that were focused on the unpopular new Tesco Local store. Arrests were made in the squat opposite, as some of the squatters were suspected of planning to petrol bomb the store. This caused outrage among some locals and some imported trouble makers. This link is a report from the time and this one from a year later.
Sepr’s piece is a reminder of those times and characteristic of the independent spirit of the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft. I love the artwork and its political overtones.
What a great name for a street. I try to imagine what it was like before it was developed. Although this rather naive mural is signed by Fung, I can find out nothing about the artist and I would guess it is an early work before a reputation has been developed. I could of course be wrong.
This photograph is interesting for another reason, and it can be found on the hoarding that has been left on the ground in front of the pink face, see below:
There is a scene drawn with marker pens – rather violent from what I can see – with the heading ‘We be collectin’ body parts of raffers (?) to impress her’. I can only imagine that this is an early work by a youngster as the themes and artwork are quite childish. What I like about it is that someone is giving it a go and developing their art and articulating their thoughts.