There is something about kingfishers and artists. They seem to represent beauty and freedom and perhaps the slightest connection with nature that our urban societies have, in the main, lost.
This shutter piece had been commissioned and painted during lock down, and I have a feeling that Kin Dose also painted the adjacent shop shutter at the same time, although I have not managed to photograph that yet.
The whole piece has a feeling of vibrancy and movement about it. The abstract background of pinks, blues and whites setting up a rich frame for the kingfisher itself. The bird is exquisitely painted (it is not the first time Kin Dose has painted a kingfisher in Bristol) and a massive asset to this end of North Street.
I love seeing Sophie Long’s work on the streets and simply don’t see enough of it out there, so finding this on North Street a little while back was genuinely a wonderful surprise. Her striking wildlife paintings/street art are truly beautiful and nearly always have this characteristic dripping which marks the piece as one of hers.
This tiger is skilfully done, although if I were being ultra critical I’d say the the body proportions aren’t quite right. The head is a little exaggerated and the body too short, but it does comply with our mind’s eye of what a tiger looks like. I very much look forward to seeing more of her work if and when the lock down eases.
Another look back to Upfest 2018 with this magnificent mural by The London Police. I know little about The London Police and have only seen their work on social media, but is appears that they have been an outfit since 2002, and comprise two central artists with othhers joining and leaving the collective over time. Ther is more about them in their Biography on their website.
I take my hat off to them for tackling this wall, because in my view, this is one of the trickiest walls and most annoying to photograph at Upfest. The best shots are from the roof opposite or from a drone, and guess what, I don’t have one of those.
The design is reasonably simple and clean which makes it easy to look at and enjoy. It is consistent with their work over many years and I believe the character is called LADS who forms the central part of all of their work. A fine piece.
During last summer, when Mr Draws painted this beast, it was impossible to get any photographs of it at all because it was behind a whole bunch of large leafy shrubs. Summer has yielded to winter and the leaves on the tree have fallen and the Council gardeners have cleared the shrubs. The outcome is that this magnificent whale is now visible to the world.
This whale is not the first Mr Draws has painted, indeed he sprayed one around the same time at the Cheltenham Paint Festival. It is however a bit of a departure from his graffiti writing or his mountains. I like the piece very much, it has a certain solemnity and mystery about it. Glad to have captured it at last.
This is an extraordinary paste up that I really ought to have posted some time ago, but it slipped through the net until I had a little look back through old files. It is by the Bristol-based artist Gvnly and presents his surreal style with real confidence.
At first I mistook this for a regular poster and with peripheral vision it looked like a kind of generic ‘circus coming to town’ poster. But as always with these things taking a moment to stop and look has its rewards. There is a lot going on in this colourful piece and there is quite a dreamy type of theme going on. I’m not sure what media were used in the painting, nor do I quite understand how it was turned into a poster (I’m not very good at understanding that kind of stuff). The wheatpaste stayed up for quite a long time before finally seccumbing to the elements. Something a little different from the norm in Bristol, and all the better for it.
This is a lovely new shutter piece by The Hass on North Street. Unfortunately there is a bit missing on the left hand side which rolls down over the door, but shutters are difficult to get at the best of times so I was pleased to get this shot. The Hass paints under another name in Bristol, but those that know, know and those that don’t, don’t need to.
As a marine biologist I need little encouragement to marvel at this wonderful marlin swimming in waters close to a paradise island, looking a little bit like the island set in the Disney Pixar film The Incredibles. This time though the gorgeous waters are polluted with plastic bottles in amongst the fish. Nice piece combining abstract elements with realism and a great story.
I’m on a roll now with another wheatpaste to share with you, this one from a session about a month ago is by Jimmer Willmott who went out on a spree with Kid Crayon. Jimmer’s surreal style is instantly recognisable and obviously influenced by great artists such as Magritte.
I think that this might be an original hand drawing that he has pasted up, rather than a print which is what many wheatpasters do. If it is, it makes the piece all the more valuable to me at least. Earlier on in the year at a small art event I remember talking to Jimmer Willmott and Kid Crayon expressing my thoughts that there was not enough wheatpaste work in Bristol and that it was a bit of a neglected art. I would like to think that in my small way I might have in part influenced this paste up session. I probably didn’t though.
With a name like Zoe Power, you are never going to be easily forgotten. Marry that up with great talent and you get stunning memorable pieces like this one in North Street. Painted above Zara’s Chocolates in North Street, next door to the Upfest shop and Gemma Compton’s outstanding mural, this piece was created as part of Upfest’s Summer Editions and for me is one of the highlights.
I met Zoe Power at the Cheltenham Paint Festival, and I fear I may have bored her rigid, but she was polite and humoured me and my barrage of questions and natterings. I am an enormous fan of her work and love this Matisse-inspired mural (he is one of my all time favourite artists). There is a lot to like here, the female figures symmetrically placed around the windows of the building holding up symbols of the solar system, set on a plant-patterned background. I love, love, love it. I want to see a lot more of her stuff.
I have waited a very long time for this, so I will enjoy it while it lasts. It was the wheatpastes of Kid Crayon that first drew me in to the world of Bristol street art some five years ago, but then he moved on to spraying and left his paper days behind him, until a week or so ago. This was a little trip down memory lane with his partner in crime Jimmer Willmott.
These two got together and pasted up some rather fun greyscale pieces. Jimmer Willmott opting for a sketch of one of his figures with a ring doughnut for a head. Surreal, quirky and fun, I could ask for no more.
Alongside doughnut head Kid Crayon has pasted a party animal who doesn’t look too much like he is enjoying the party. Great also to see the Crayon making a comeback. Hurrah for this little foray into wheatpasting from these two… more to come from this session. Please don’t leave it quite so long before the next batch.
I think that I happened to be passing by this piece very shortly after it had been completed by Goin, judging from the presence of the scissor lift just below it. This striking piece is yet another remarkable work organised by Upfest as part of their Summer Editions project in lieu of an Upfest festival this year.
Goin is no stranger to Bristol, but his pieces tend to be associated with his visits for Upfest related initiatives. This magnificent and really rather large stencil entitled ‘Add to cart’ is clearly a commentary on consumerism, but I don’t know the original artwork upon which this is an elaboration. Any ideas? I suspect that knowing the root piece would add significance to the story being told. I might have to have a little Google session to see if I can find out. In the meantime, enjoy this excellent work.