2562. Brunel Way bridge (24)

Wow, wow, wow. Face 1st is really going for this new look girl’s face with tears flooding from her sad eyes. This is the third crying piece I have posted recently and it is a trend that seems to be a commentary on the state of our nation at present.

Face 1st, Brunel Way, Bristol, October 2019
Face 1st, Brunel Way, Bristol, October 2019

This is a crisp and clean piece down under Brunel Way, next to the Bristol New Cut. Face 1st often paints the columns round here, but less frequently paints the main walls, so this is a bit of a treat. An artist who consistently ticks all my boxes.

2547. M32 Cycle path (35)

How fantastic to see these two PWA artists hooking up again after what feels like way too long. Soap and Face 1st have been painting buddies for a long time, but lately have been doing their own thing. I was beginning to think that they might have fallen out and may maybe they had, so it was with some relief  that I came across this fine collaboration on the M32 cycle path.

Soap and Face 1st, M32 cycle path, Bristol, October 2019
Soap and Face 1st, M32 cycle path, Bristol, October 2019

The collaboration itself is a lovely crisp piece, which is tapping into Face 1st’s recent theme of a crying face, which I interpret as a metaphor for the desperate state of our nation. This collaboration is really tight and one of my favourites that this pair have produced. The yellow boundary contains the two elements into a ‘proper’ collaboration of shared paint and merged ideas rather than the loose collaboration of when artists paint different things together.

2538. St Werburghs tunnel (106)

An unusual piece by Face 1st in St Werburghs tunnel, unusual because it is writing without a character. I think this is the first time I have seen this from him although he quite often does character pieces without writing.

Face 1st, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2019
Face 1st, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2019

Simple in its construction and tidy in his use of fills this is a rather fun piece, and it has lasted well in the tunnel where the turnover is often quite rapid. I particularly like the orange and red stripes on the ‘A’  – something for me to go away and practice. Also you might notice one of his girl faces at the base of the ‘F’. Always good to see Face 1st breaking boundaries.

2522. M32 roundabout J3 (173)

This is quite a rare piece by the mild-mannered Face 1st, because he doesn’t very often get political, but this piece has been painted to show the artist’s despair over Brexit. It is a sentiment that will chime for the majority of Bristol citizens who voted overwhelmingly to remain in Europe.

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2019
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, October 2019

I share the tears being shed by Face 1st’s subject and they are tears that reflect a sadness that our country is so divided, more so than at any time in living memory. The UK is shattered, and we can be pretty sure that the outcome of leaving Europe will be several more years of austerity (haven’t we had enough? – as a public sector worker, I’ve not had a more than 1% pay rise for a decade), the break up of the Union, with Scotland the first to go, and a vast and costly new domestic bureaucracy (replacing the one in Europe) just to manage our trade relationships and regulations that will be required for each nation we trade with. I wish I could wake up from this nightmare. Face 1st’s piece says it all really.

2504. St Mark’s Avenue (3)

In my favourite recently discovered spot, St Mark’s Avenue in Easton, is this great collaboration between Soap and Zake which I had seen previously on Instagram, but never knew where it was. Well now I know.

Zake, St Mark's Avenue, Bristol, September 2019
Zake, St Mark’s Avenue, Bristol, September 2019

On the left is a portrait by Zake that unusually for this alleyway has been altered by some idiot, goofing the eyes and the lips This is a real shame because it gives the character a completely different and rather sinister ‘personality’ than that of the original. Even though it has been altered, I felt it worth including, partly to demonstrate that not everything I get to see is in its perfect pristine state and also to explain why I try to get out regularly to find new pieces before they have been tagged or ruined.

Soap, St Mark's Avenue, Bristol, September 2019
Soap, St Mark’s Avenue, Bristol, September 2019

On the right is some colourful and uplifting writing fro Soap. The photograph is a little bit rubbish, partly because of the rather unhelpful wheelie bin and also because of the width of the lane at this point is quite tight and ‘front on’ pictures are an impossibility without a wide angle lens. Unlike much of the work in this lane it is relatively recent and was painted this year. As an aside, the tag on the bin is one that can be found pretty much everywhere in Bristol – I don’t know the tagger’s name, but it is probably concealed somewhere within the tag.

2488. Upper York Street (16)

An artist who just never seems to stop, and the number of posts on Natural Adventures featuring his work would evidence that, is Face 1st. In recent weeks he seems to have reverted to his charming portraits and hair spelling out FACE after experimenting with full body characters, always female, during the summer. I like it that he is stretching his ‘portfolio’ and that he remembers where he has come from too.

Face 1st, Upper York Street, Bristol, September 2019
Face 1st, Upper York Street, Bristol, September 2019

This one on Upper York Street, adjacent to Hazard’s wonderful frog, is full of soft subtle tones that contrast with the brighht pink background. I’ve rarely come across a piece by this artist that I haven’t liked.

2460. M32 roundabout J3 (168)

What a wonderful piece. This is Face 1st at his traditional best. It was pieces like this that first attracted me to the work of this Bristol artist, and although he has diversified his subjects a little this year, this one is right back to his core work and rather comforting for it.

Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2019
Face 1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, September 2019

The piece is clean and fresh, it has a crispness about it. The colours in the hair, spelling out FACE, are nicely selected and contrast strongly with the yellow surround. So good to see a piece like this in one of his favourite haunts.