4621. Upfest 2022 (36)

Inkie, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Inkie, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

Two Inkie posts in a row… It happens you know from time to time, sometimes by design and other times quite by accident. This was an accident, but nothing to stress about, there are no rules on Natural Adventures, and if there were I wouldn’t stick to them anyway.

Inkie, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Inkie, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

I watched Inkie as he was painting this stunner, and was reminded of the incredible pace he works at. I watched him paint the lower left hand quadrant for a couple of minutes, walked the dog up the road for five minutes, came back and he had virtually finished the segment, awesome to witness.

Inkie, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Inkie, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

Somehow Upfest wouldn’t feel like Upfest without a landmark Inkie piece, and the area plays host to several of his pieces still, from years gone by. Inkie – Bristol – ASK (After Schook Klub) – Vikki. Says it all. A true beauty.

4528. North Street

I have said it many times, but it is worth repeating, that one of the additional benefits of Upfest is that artists often leave a little bit extra, over and above their ‘official’ pieces. This shutter piece is a ‘quick one’ by Irony that he painted before leaving Bristol. How privileged we are.

Irony, North Street, Bristol, June 2022
Irony, North Street, Bristol, June 2022

This piece is so good, and leaves us guessing so much about the woman in the portrait. We are teased by Irony, and it is what we can’t see that is as important as what we can see. I have spoken repeatedly on Natural Adventures about the talent of Irony, and this piece reinforces his status as a world class street artist. A magnificent portrait piece.

4527. North Street

Weekends, early mornings and evenings reveal a whole extra opportunity for viewing street art, with the expanse of shop front shutters on view. In North Street, Bedminster, probably about a third of all the pieces on view are on shutters, and if you aren’t there at the right time they are pieces you simply will not see.

Taboo, North Street, Bristol, June 2022
Taboo, North Street, Bristol, June 2022

This fine shutter piece from Taboo is the second I have posted recently and is only a stone’s throw from his first. Taboos unconventional writing style presents an unusual TABOO, with a distorted Mickey Mouse face making up the first ‘O’. This is classic taboo and so good to see. I like his work and his style which is a shift from more conventional works we are used to seeing, and keeps things fresh.

Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022
Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022

4466. North Street

Timing can be crucial when photographing street art, and shutters in particular need to be down to be photographed properly or indeed at all. Parking also presents a problem (if not on foot) with some specific spots, and this shutter piece by Taboo on North Street has evaded me for far too long, but a week or son ago the stars aligned, and I was able to grab a couple of snaps.

Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022
Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022

Taboo has such an interesting style, that I have a feeling might be called anti-graff, although it is only a term I have recently become aware of, and I might have got that wrong. However, using his writing and character combination, Taboo has smashed this shutter, with great design, colour and a spectacular Minnie Mouse.

Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022
Taboo, North Street, Bristol, May 2022

There is a lot to like here, made all the more admirable for being on a shutter, which are notoriously difficult to paint. Captured and catalogued at last.

4161. North Street

My love for wheatpastes is a theme that runs through my posts on Natural Adventures, but sadly, there is not much of a paste-up culture in Bristol, and I think, perhaps counterintuitively, that it is less tolerated by the authorities than spray-painting. It is good therefore, that from time to time visiting wheatpasters visit the city and pop up a few decorations for us to enjoy, like this one from qWeRT.

qWeRT, North Street, Bristol, December 2021
qWeRT, North Street, Bristol, December 2021

If you like what you see here, it might be worth a quick look at the qWeRT gallery I put together some time ago, but have updated just now. qWeRT has used the rather tatty door as a perfect spot for the bug-eyed character to express its love, a great sentiment that we could all do with plenty of.

4125. Upfest 2021 75×75 (73)

I had kind of given up on the final three Upfest 75 walls in 75 days pieces, especially as the 75 days was up some time ago, but hope and excitement were restored when Sled One painted this beautiful piece for the event a couple of weeks ago.

Sled One, North Street, Bristol, December 2021, Upfest 21,
Sled One, North Street, Bristol, December 2021, Upfest 21,

Above the General Store in North Street, the intricate mural features a snakes and ladders theme, with a medieval twist hinted at by the hand-held daggers and ornate sleeves. I did not notice the Advance Pest Control van in the photograph until posting this piece, but I think it adds a little something to the scene.

As we would expect from Sled One, the mural is executed with class and precision and is a fine contribution to Upfest’s summer event. So now there are only two pieces left for me to find. One, I know where it is, the other is a mystery.

4124. North Street

Paste ups tend to be few and far between in Bristol, and there is nothing like the culture of wheatpastes here as there is in Shoreditch, for example. I suppose that their rarity makes them extra special, and when qWeRT visits the city, it is always refreshing to see his goggle-eyed characters.

qWeRT, North Street, Bristol, December 2021
qWeRT, North Street, Bristol, December 2021

This one in North Street is immediately above a Stewy stencil of a sheep, and is perfectly positioned under the coping stone of the wall. Although looking a little worse for wear, this piece isn’t actually all that old and is one of several that appeared in the North Street area a couple of months back. Creative and fun, qWeRT will always be welcome in  Bristol (as far as I am concerned).

4083. North Street

This old piece by John D’oh has been sitting in my ‘departure lounge’ for several years, and at last I have found the space to publish it. I am going to show my ignorance by not having any idea who the character portrayed in the piece is… a bit of popular culture that has passed me by, and maybe this is why I never posted it when I had prepared it way back.

John D'oh, North Street, Bristol, April 2016
John D’oh, North Street, Bristol, April 2016

Placed on a shopfront that I think has changed since April 2016 when the picture was taken, the text states ‘ life is sometimes just torture. As I said earlier I am not sure what the reference is, but I still like it, and the whole rather run-down scene nonetheless. As you might have spotted, I am going through a bit of a John D’oh purple patch and it has no signs of abating.

3912. Upfest 2021 75×75 (53)

I met Karl Read at the Cheltenham Paint Festival last year, and what a very nice bloke he is too. He is an artist who appears to enjoy painting at festivals, and he has certainly been to several Upfest events in the past, this is his 75 walls in 75 days contribution.

Karl Read, North Street, Bristol, August 2021, Upfest 21
Karl Read, North Street, Bristol, August 2021, Upfest 21

This is a superb bright and vibrant piece that makes great use of this slightly awkward wall. The message, in large colourful letters, is clear for all to see and will resonate with all but the most miserable people. Karl Read has chosen to paint his characters, a boy and a girl at each end of the letters, in black and white, probably using a stencil. The characters contrast beautifully with the letters and somehow bring out the colour even more. An upbeat and positive piece from the Upfest veteran.

3908. Upfest 2021 75×75 (52)

I am generally pretty well tapped into the appearance of new pieces in Bristol through Instagram and Twitter, especially anything to do with Upfest, which made finding this piece accidentally/incidentally, by Sophie Long, extra special. Sophie Long is a Bristol artist who creates stunning colourful canvasses and murals of wild animals (and usually lots of lovely drips too), and who is an Upfest favourite.

Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, August 2021, Upfest 21
Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, August 2021, Upfest 21

These beautiful whale pieces, on the door shutter and wall of People Solutions on North Street, replace a pair of octopi from a previous Upfest event. Sophie Long has managed to use the vertical space brilliantly, who’d have thought you could paint blue whales in a diving pose?

Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, August 2021, Upfest 21
Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, August 2021, Upfest 21

There is always an emotional connection with our largest mammal cousins and Sophie Long has done a brilliant job at representing that connection. Skilfully painted in ghostly colours, these two leviathans remind us of the fragility of biodiversity on Earth. Beautiful.