I think the prize for the busiest artists of Upfest 2017 goes to Pahnl who were not only the featured Festival artists for the year, but who also painted two walls with their intricate stencil work.
Actually, it was some days after the festival that they finally managed to finish this wall, but it was worth the wait. Their style of work has the look and feel of corporate identy and logos, with ‘toilet door man’ setting about various tasks and activities.
The partnership certainly produced something out of the ordinary with their work, unlike anything else at the festival. there is more about this duo from Birmingham on their fine website.
Pahnl were the selected festival artists for Upfest 2017, which meant that they had to work twice as hard as any of the other artists. They provided the visuals for the programme, map and other publicity material and they produced two stencils to advertise the upcoming event, previously covered in this blog.
Their work consists of beautifully designed stylized figures, looking a bit like they have marched off a corporate logo portfolio, set in various, often witty scenes. The work is very time consuming, as each element is stencilled onto the overall scene.
The effect is a world of colourful small designs interacting with each other and the viewer. Something about the figures reminds me a bit of Play Mobil figures.
This wall, alongside the ‘Hen and Chicken’ was the first of two ambitious pieces by Pahnl which at various times saw them valiantly spraying under plastic sheeting cowering from the rain. There are loads of individual pirate stories going on here involving these little people.
So here it is, time to get excited about Upfest 2017 with this year’s festival artist Pahnl. There are two of these pieces, one at the North Street Green, and the other at the North Street Standard. Both I expect will be over written at the festival, the latter I believe by Inkie.
I don’t really know anything about Pahnl, so it is lucky that the nice people at Upfest have produced a free festival map and a short biography of Pahnl which reads:
‘Living at a lower level of existence, Pahnl’s miniature people, dogs, cats and birds can often be found outside in the street. Taking influence from comics and street signage, whilst adding their own subversive and funny twist, Birmingham-based duo Panhl use stencils, stickers, posters, animation, screen printing, film and photography to bring their own small world to life.’
So now you know as much as me. Certainly their work has a very strong brand feel to it, and perhaps that is a good thing for the Festival, but it is quite unlike most of the street art you find in Bristol, and maybe not representative. Having said that this is strong and characterful and demonstrates the broad church of street/graffiti art that Upfest espouses. Only a few days now.