3805. Upfest 2021 75×75 (15)

I have had a few days away from Bristol, which came on the back of a period of self-isolation, and as a result have gone into a bit of blind panic. This is the 15th 75×75 Upfest piece that I have written about, and I understand that 50 have now been completed, so I have a lot of work to do to catch up on some of these. This piece from Sophie Mills was one of the first I photographed, and was lucky enough to be there when she was just finishing the piece off.

Sophie Mills Thomas, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Sophie Mills Thomas, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

A rhinoceros wearing a party hat is certainly a fairly unusual theme, and the hat looks a little incongruous, not only in it being a hat, but also in the painting style, almost as if it had been added by someone else after the event. Another interesting thing which might have been deliberate or coincidental is that Sophie Mills Thomas’s trousers are a perfect colour match for the piece she is painting.

Sophie Mills Thomas, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Sophie Mills Thomas, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

This is a small but impactful piece that is bang in the middle of North Street and next to an Inky/Cheo Mibsy tribute piece that has remained intact for several years. A fine addition to Upfest’s summer event.

3791. Upfest 2021 75×75 (11)

We, the citizens of Bristol, have been spoilt by Steve, Emma and the whole Upfest team. In the most trying of circumstances they have pulled off a most remarkable event, or show, lasting 75 days and the painting of 75 walls. As if that wasn’t enough, the legacy of this monumental effort will bring joy to the hearts of many for months and years to come.

Hixxy, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Hixxy, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

This wonderful facade mural is by Hixxy, an artist I have not come across before. As far as I can make out, she is based in London and Liverpool and she describes her work as ‘pop botanical murals’ which looking at this piece makes total sense. This modernist painting features pear blossom and a face that Hixxy dug out from a 1950s archive. It is amazing how much information you can get from Instagram!

The whole piece works really well over the shop front of Kask wine, and Hixxy has very cleverly incorporated the windows into the darker parts of the design so that you hardly notice them. A fine Upfest piece.

3786. Upfest 2021 75×75 (10)

One of my all time favourite artists in Bristol is Hazard, and it is not difficult to understand why.  Her portraits, so full of depth, emotion and colour, can be found dotted around the city, and although many have long-since gone, there are still several to be found. This new piece for the Upfest 75 walls in 75 days initiative, is breathtakingly beautiful. It is also frustratingly difficult to photograph.

Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

I passed by while she was mid-way through painting the piece and was going to stop for a chat, but I could see that she was in full flow and I didn’t really want to disturb her. I rather like the ladder on the side of the building, taking away a little bit of the glamour we might associate with being a muralist.

Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Hazard, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

The piece itself is a gorgeous portrait of a woman in deep red colours with blue hair and a Garland of what looks like clouds and vapours in a pinky orange hue. The connection with nature is obvious, as it is in so many of Hazard’s pieces, with the leaves to the right of the piece.

It is so good to see Hazard back out painting our walls, it has been a quiet eighteen months from her.

3772. Upfest 2021 75×75 (7)

Our household self-isolation is about half done now and it is getting a bit boring. When you can’t leave the front door for anything, the fear of missing out (FOMO) starts to build, and for me, this is manifested in how many new pieces of art I might never get to see, such is the high turnover. I confess, it really gets to me, but on the other side of this, it exposes my obsession, which probably needs moderating. A time for introspection.

Meanwhile, I have got a vast reserve of unpublished photographs that could keep me posting for a couple of years at least. Upfest pieces will always get prominence on Natural Adventures, and this astonishing piece from Peter Sheridan is really absolutely stunning.

Peter Sheridan, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Peter Sheridan, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

This one seemed to creep under everyone’s radar, and I don’t think I have seen any work in progress shots on social media. The finished piece was suddenly there, appearing as if by magic. The character piece creates an extraordinary atmosphere and sensation of being locked up, one I can utterly relate to at the moment, and one that probably reflects the past 18 months or so.

It is so good, I’ll just pause and leave you to enjoy it.

3761. Upfest 2021 75×75 (5)

Five down, and only another 70 to go. Upfest have absolutely nailed the festival in this most extraordinary of years by spreading the painting over a long period and thus avoiding the huge crowds that normally attend the long-weekend event. This piece by Hannah Edwards is on North Street, not too far away from the Upfest shop.

Hannah Edwards, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Hannah Edwards, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

Hannah Edwards is an illustrator/window painter/mural artist/signwriter from Bristol, but I am not familiar with her work, so it is great to see this piece. The style is reminiscent of those GWR posters from the thirties and has a wonderful sense of motion. Unusual and fun, and yet another new artist for Natural Adventures.

3719. North Street

This is the sixth and final part of the Six Sisters project in North Street, a series of six huge facade murals by six female Bristol artists, organised by Upfest. This final part of the series is by Alex Lucas, who has featured in Natural Adventures numerous times, and a gallery of her work can be found here.

Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021
Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021

This piece is an absolute beauty and brings the series to a great crescendo. Alex Lucas brings her illustration skills to the fore with these three poodles and a pug? In amongst some beautiful flowers and clouds. The vibrancy of the colours was enhanced by the gorgeous weather on the day I took these pictures.

Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021
Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021

The poodles (not my favourite breed if I am honest) are full of life and movement with suitably daft expressions on their faces. They are frolicking amongst the clouds and amazing yellow flowers. The whole thing resembles fancy bespoke wallpaper.

Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021
Alex Lucas, North Street, Bristol, May 2021

When Gemma Compton completed the first of these murals above the Upfest shop in June 2016, I don’t think anyone could have foreseen what a wonder this row of shops would become five years later. Bravo to all the artists and hats off to Upfest for giving the city this amazing landmark.

The 'six sisters' - Bex Glover, Alex Lucas, Zoe Power, Gemma Compton, Sophie Long and Ejits, North Street, Bristol, May 2021
The ‘six sisters’ – Bex Glover, Alex Lucas, Zoe Power, Gemma Compton, Sophie Long and Ejits, North Street, Bristol, May 2021

My posts for the six sisters are listed below:

1. Gemma Compton

2. Zoe Power

3. Bex Glover

4. Sophie Long

5. Ejits

6. Alex Lucas

3676. North Street

Hurrah! It made my day when I saw this wonderful collaboration from Kid Crayon and Zubieta on social media, and I couldn’t get down to North Street fast enough. This boarded up shop front has had some fabulous pieces on it over the years, but has the disadvantage, from a photography point of view, of cars being permanently parked outside – an occupational hazard in Bedminster.

Kid Crayon, North Street, Bristol, May 2021
Kid Crayon, North Street, Bristol, May 2021

Of course I know Kid Crayon well, but this is the first time I have seen anything by Zubieta. The colours and style of the whole collaboration is very ‘Crayonesque’ but it is clear that the left hand side is by Kid Crayon and the right hand side by Zubieta. The theme would appear to be alcohol fuelled as both characters appear to be semi-immersed in a sea of booze. The Crayon character is wearing a trademark paper hat which is always nice to see.

Zubieta, North Street, Bristol, May 2021
Zubieta, North Street, Bristol, May 2021

Zubieta is an artist/designer based in Bristol but originally from Seville in Spain as far as I can make out. This is the first street piece I have seen by her, and what a perfect way to start alongside Kid Crayon. Zubieta’s character is a mermaid that seems to be equally happy with the alcoholic environment. This is a fun piece and it is great to see Kid Crayon hitting the streets again after a pretty long absence.

Kid Crayon and Zubieta, North Street, Bristol, May 2021
Kid Crayon and Zubieta, North Street, Bristol, May 2021

3656. North Street

This wonderful and rather large mural is by Ejits, a Bristol artist and is the fifth instalment of the ‘six sisters’ shop facades opposite North Street Green. Orchestrated by Upfest and Bedminster BID, each of these beauties is painted by a local female artist, showcasing the wealth and breadth of street art in Bristol.

Ejits, North Street, Bristol, April 2021
Ejits, North Street, Bristol, April 2021

The piece is painted not with spray cans, but more traditionally with paints and brushes and features Ejits which Emily (the artist’s real name) describes as ‘a curious and playful bunch of illustrated characters created to brighten up and bring joy to your world’. Well mark this down as an outright success straight away. I will confess at this stage that I didn’t know about the artist before she painted this, but now that she is on my radar, I’ll look out for her studio work and any walls she might be decorating.

Zoe Power, Gemma Compton, Sophie Long and Ejits, North Street, Bristol, April 2021
Zoe Power, Gemma Compton, Sophie Long and Ejits, North Street, Bristol, April 2021

It is probably best to finish off with Emily’s own words about the piece which she calls ‘Rumpus’, taken from her beautiful website:

After a long year of lockdowns, I felt it was important to bring something colourful and joyful to this piece of public art. I took inspiration from Where the Wild Things are and Keith Haring to create something with a lot of movement and energy. That’s why the title of this piece is Rumpus!

The Six Sisters are hyped to be the largest mural project in the UK designed and painted by female street artists.

It sits in a prominent and popular part of the city on North Street Bedminster and also features murals by Bex Glover, Zoe Power, Gemma Compton and Sophie Long. Lucas Antics will be the sixth and final artist to add her mural to the line-up.

3241. North Street

It took a little while to get there, but this outstanding mural from Sophie Long has been well worth the wait. The row of shops in North Street, which includes the Upfest shop in the middle, is becoming a bit of a showcase, with four of the five similar buildings now boasting a fine mural. Most interestingly all of these murals are by female artists. I reckon that we should be lining up Hazard for the remaining slot… That would be my first choice.

Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, October 2020
Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, October 2020

Sophie Long is well known for her paintings of wildlife and use of bright colours and in this mural she doesn’t disappoint. Four bumblebees surround the top window of the building with rays of bright colour shooting out from the centre. Often Sophie Long will pay attention to anatomical accuracy, but in this mural, the bumblebees have a slightly cartoonish appearance. This is a fine addition to the existing murals in this row.

Zoe Power, Gemma Compton and Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, October 2020
Zoe Power, Gemma Compton and Sophie Long, North Street, Bristol, October 2020

Bex Glover, North Street, Bristol, July 2020
Bex Glover, North Street, Bristol, July 2020

3129. North Street

Sometimes you have to be patient, and with photographing shutter pieces this can be particularly true. I have known about this wonderful cat mural by Kin Dose for a long time, it was painted during lock down, but every time I visited until recently the shop was open and the shutter up.

Kin Dose, North Street, Bristol, July 2020
Kin Dose, North Street, Bristol, July 2020

This delightful cat was commissioned by ToyVille on North Street and is a fantastic permanent addition to the cluster of amazing pieces in this area of Bedminster. I don’t know if it is deliberate, but the cat is staring straight across the zebra crossing, giving pedestrians ‘the eye’.

Kin Dose, North Street, Bristol, July 2020
Kin Dose, North Street, Bristol, July 2020

Kin Dose is simply one of the best and his technique of airbrush spray painting enables him to add the most incredible fine detail to his pieces, especially good for fur and whiskers. This piece is situated immediately to the right of his kingfisher commission that was painted a few days before.

Kin Dose, North Street, Bristol, May 2020
Kin Dose, North Street, Bristol, May 2020