This piece makes me laugh a little, because it involved another encounter with two great graffiti writers, Turoe and Hemper, or as I like to think of them, Mr Grumpy and Mr Happy. I got the cold-shoulder treatment from Turoe, which I am getting used to, but Hemper was happy to engage in a little conversation as they worked on this fabulous collaborative piece.
The colour scheme was shared by both artists, but each worked at their own pieces with their own styles, spelling out TUROE and HEMP respectively. The WIP shot was taken on a bright winter’s day with long shadows cast across the wall. When I went back to photograph the finished collaboration, I did so in overcast conditions, which got rid of those pesky shadows.
To the left is Turoe’s piece, which sets the theme of plastic litter in an aquatic setting. Look carefully and around the letters are loads of plastic items and PPE equipment, a sad observation of the polluted world we live in, but also a motivator to take action.
Hemper continues the theme of litter, and the pieces are all the more powerful for sticking to a single colour. The litter becomes more ethereal as it swirls around the block letters spelling HEMS. This is a fabulous collaboration from these two top writers.
This is a lovely new shutter piece by The Hass on North Street. Unfortunately there is a bit missing on the left hand side which rolls down over the door, but shutters are difficult to get at the best of times so I was pleased to get this shot. The Hass paints under another name in Bristol, but those that know, know and those that don’t, don’t need to.
As a marine biologist I need little encouragement to marvel at this wonderful marlin swimming in waters close to a paradise island, looking a little bit like the island set in the Disney Pixar film The Incredibles. This time though the gorgeous waters are polluted with plastic bottles in amongst the fish. Nice piece combining abstract elements with realism and a great story.
In Millennium Square, a cultural centre of Bristol, a new piece by Jody has been commissioned and the piece is riding high on the crest of the wave of enhanced public awareness of environmental issues.
I’m not too sure where the commission has come from, but the subject matters owes an awful lot to the iconic film Jaws (one of course). Instead of an unwitting swimmer, the sea is full of floating plastic and the ‘prey’ a plastic bottle of water. The sad truth behind this sensational and clever piece with a strong message is that it does tell a story of our heavily polluted seas. It is a homage (probably the wrong choice of word) to the Anthropocene epoch. Such a piece of public art could not have even existed a hundred and fifty years ago. What have we done? Nice piece by Jody.
I felt it was probably time to pick up on a few more Upfest 2018 pieces starting with this beautiful Whale and Gannet work with a very strong environmental message from Adelle Gough. The text says “You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop”.
I like the style Adelle has used for this piece very much, and it has quite an illustrative feel to it, like it could be the cover of a children’s book on plastic waste or something like that. There is a narrative in the piece that is clear to see, with tin can plastic binding caught around the gannet’s neck.
Adelle likes to call Stroud her home, but appers to do quite a lot of travelling around the country. She has a fine website Green Bow Tie Works that houses a gallery of her works and there is an interesting profile/biography of the artist which outlines her love for nature and the natural world. Whale pieces always go down well with me.
When Kid Crayon and SPZero76 get together as ‘EAT’ crew, there is almost always a creative explosion that follows. This brilliant piece, which is a kind of quasi commission, they get paid in paint, is on a wall favoured by these two.
The theme for the piece highlights plastic in our seas, something that thankfully is front of mind for so many of us at the moment. In Kid Crayon’s side of the piece, the king and queen of the sea look less than impressed with the amount of plastic in their domain, and the fish look pretty troubled too.
Although the styles of these two artists are strikingly different, they seem to work well together. SPZero76 gives us a couple of characters, a robot and swimmer in highly protective gear venturing out into the polluted sea for a surf. What is really clever about this piece is that they have incorporated bits of their previous work on this wall, such as the yellow VW Beetle, by leaving them partially exposed, thus becoming part of the pollution in this piece. Really clever work.
I always love a piece with a big story.
Update – I have since found out that the ‘special effect’ was not intentional but rather rain damage. The piece has been replaced already by the EAT crew.
written on returning from a two day conference on environmental communications. We really do have so very little time remaining to prevent both a biodiversity and climate catastrophe. Time to write to your MPs or political representatives and ask them what they are doing about these two growing issues which will have impacts far greater than any banking crisis we have ever seen.
One of the classiest pieces in The Bearpit for a little while appeared just over a week ago and took up the entire length of ont of the north side entrance ramp. This stunning piece is a collaboration between Sled One and Epok. As is often the case with work like this, the photographs really don’t do it justice and I would urge Bristolians to get down to The Bearpit to see it for themselves.
There is a strong message here about the damage being done to our oceans by plastics – don’t get me going on this subject, because it vexes me because the torrent of pastic, large and microscopic, will kill off life in our oceans unless urgent action is taken. We sure know how to goof up our planet.
The artwork in this piece is exquisite and incredibly detailed, just take a look at the pectoral fins of the fish above, to see how much work has gone into the colourse ripples and folds of the fins.
Them whole thing is cleverly constructed, combining some abstract elements with life studies, but the whole effect is one of movement and swirling currents.
It would be great to hear from the artists themselves what inspired them to do this piece. It is possible that it was a commission, but by whom I wonder. Next time I see Sled One, I’ll have to ask him.
All in all a great piece and beautiful gift to the people of Bristol. Now, reduce that plastic waste!