Will Coles certainly left his mark at Upfest 2017, with a number of different ‘installations’ dotted around the festival site and in other parts of Bristol too. This particular one chimes for a great many people in the UK, and I guess across the world, and links to the catastrophic decline in honey bee and other insect pollinator populations.
I would like to think that this is somewhat less controversial than many of his works, but it is nonetheless quite challenging politically. There are some who advocate the use of neonicotinoids and other pesticides to sustain high crop yields and guarantee food production for the nation.
Each of these honey bees were carefully placed. It was fun hunting them down.
Upfest always has a knack of introducing you to something just that little bit different, and for me this year, the most interesting finds were several sculptures dotted around the place by Will Coles.
Will Coles is a sculptor born in Warwickshire but who has spent time in Suffolk, as a child and in London and Glasgow, before moving to Sydney, Australia. He has now returned and is living somewhere in Europe (his own words).
His street work, judging by his website, is eyecatching to say the least. He has a subversive streak and takes a long look at modern culture upon which his works offer an interesting commentry. This particular piece may make the viewer uneasy on several levels. Add together the images and messages with the tarnished brass plaque appearance of the piece and you have a classy piece, which will shock. Because of its location and ‘part of the street funrnitue’ appearance, many who came to Upfest will have totally missed the piece.
Luckily he did another one in Blue, just in case you missed the first one.
Serendipitously, I found another of his pieces in Bristol this afternoon, and didn’t know it was by him until I started a little research to write this post. Funny how things like that happen.
I definitely like his work, and will keep my eyes peeled to see what else he left behind in Bristol after Upfest.
This post is governed more by events than any kind of planning on my part. Last week I photographed this small wooden plaque recognising the great talents of DJ Derek. Any of you who have followed this blog for a while may remember this post of a stencil by Stewy in Leonard Lane.
There is some sad news today; news reports are claiming that the remains of Derek Serpell-Morris have been found in Patchway, North Bristol. There will be a collective sigh of sadness as people in Bristol become aware of the fate of this iconic character.
The catchphrase on the plaque is now burdened with a heavy irony given the circumstances of his disappearance and passing. I don’t know who the plaque is by, but it is signed MTB.