To kick of the third set of ten posts from Upfest 2018 is this magnificent piece by the brilliant artist Annatomix. I have seen a few of her pieces and I have to say the more I see of them, the more I like them.
This piece was on a new wall for 2018, which it suited perfectly, in a little garden space behind an arched gateway on North Street. I wrote a haiku about this gateway some time ago.
I managed to have a quick chat with Annatomix during one of the several showers on the Saturday, and I think she was worried about getting behind schedule with the piece. It was such a pity that it rained during Upfest, especially as it was in the middle of a heatwave.
The choice of subject, a kingfisher, and the stunning colours – thanks largely to the kingfisher itself – was absolutely perfect for this space. Her origami style of painting is so clever and really attractive – a kind of abstract take on wildlife.
I think it would be nice to keep this as a permanent wall, but I don’t know it that is likely to happen – best to enjoy it while it is there I guess. Bravo Annatomix – one of the festival highlights.
This stunning piece from Piet Rodriguez was one of the first I saw at this year’s Upfest and it set the bar very high indeed. Some readers might recognise this site from a recent ‘Thursday doors‘ post on this blog…what a vast improvement this make-over has made.
Piet Rodriguez is a French artist who was raised in Brussels, and a quick look at his website gives you an idea of what an accomplished artist he is. I gather from his biography in the Upfest porgramme that he only took up the spray can in 2015, which surely is a good thing for all of us.
This was not the only piece that Piet Rodriguez did at Upfest, and I will post his smaller board from South Street park at a later date. I think I am a fan.
A wonderful collaboration between Paul Monsters and Loch Ness that has been hiding away in my archive for such a very long time. Too good to leave there, especially as I owe my debut piece to these two, Paul for all his unvelievable work on Upfest and Loch Ness for giving me my lesson in spray painting.
It is rare to see a piece by Paul Monsters these days that isn’t some kind of geometric design, and Loch Ness too has developed his technique and is favouring larger pieces these days. The two still collaborate, and I expect to see them both hard at work at Upfest.
I am writing this in advance, but by my estimate this post should be out the day before Upfest begins.
Europe’s largest street art festival begins in Bristol tomorrow, and I am (will be) beside myself with excitement. Time to prep cameras and make sure all batteries are powered up to the max. I’ll start to post images from the festival as soon as I am able, but regular followers will know that it take me about 9 months or so to work through them.
I have a feeling that this piece was stencilled by John D’oh during last year’s Upfest, but because it is on a shutter, I just haven’t seen it as I’m not usually in Bedminster outside normal working hours. For those not familiar with David Attenborough (is there anyone on this blue planet?) the phrase used by John D’oh is an affectionate ribbing of one of Attenborough’s much used phrases, spoken in whispered tones.
The stencil is very typical of John D’oh’s work, although in this instance devoid of politics. There is something a little unfortunate about the monkey in the top right glancing down at Attenborough – his face appears to be a graffiti cock and bals, which is what I hought it was the first time I saw it. I’m not sure if this is deliberate or not, but once pointed ut it is difficult not to see it (sorry). Nice work again from John D’oh.
The great thing about visiting wheatpasters is that rarely do they come to town and leave only one paste up. Rather they tend to leave a trail of little treasures dotted about the place, and that is exactly what qWeRT did on a recent trip to Bristol.
I particularly like this one of our googly eyed hero riding a scooter. The placement is in a little alcove that has been a honeypot for small stencils and wheatpastes, but is in its last throws as a street art spot due to the completion of a new development adjoining it. This is one of the things I am noticing about Bristol at the moment, it seems that there is a decreasing number of places where street artists can do their work. Gentrification is on the move and with it comes displacement. Of course, we all want a prosperous and attractice city, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
There is a small wall on North Street that Stewy seems to have made his own. Back in July 2016 he had a fabulous stencil of the great musician Robert Wyatt on this wall, which was a particular favourite of mine, because I like his music.
This beautiful stencil, sprayed around the time of last year’s Upfest is a reproduction of a Bristol Pounds five pound note (yes we have our own currency here in Bristol) which depicts a number of Bristol heroes including Isembard Kingdom Brunel, DJ Derek and Robert Wyatt. To get a decent look at it you need to look at it sideways.
I like these kind of composite doors, doors within doors that are rather shabbily finished. This one has a slot cut out of it for a letterbox and locks on both sides, so where are the hinges?
The most observant among you might have noticed a little blue plaque on the right of the door which is one of Will Coles’ bees that he installed during Upfest 2017 last July. In fact I realise that is it one that I haven’t photographed before, so of course I have to go back to snap it up.
The building is what we used to call a junk shop when I was a kid, but I’m not sure it is terribly polite to call it that. A trader of second hand goods, house clearance and antiques might be more appropriate.
There is also something rather appealing about the angry face graffiti too. A nice grey door – something quite ordinary transformed into the extraordinary by simply stopping to take a look at it.