I can’t think of a time when I have seen so many John D’oh stencils in such rapid succession including several that I have missed in recent weeks. Many have been about the Government’s inept handling of the coronavirus outbreak, this one however is more about the impacts on people.
Rats have commonly been used by Banksy and many other artists in their work and here a rat is used to illustrate the ‘rat race’ with the words ‘After COVID-19 I am not sure I can join the rat race’. Another nice work recording the impacts of the pandemic on Bristol society.
If there are any silver linings to the Covid-19 pandemic, and I say this fully recognising the horror that faces us all, one would have to be that Mother Earth can take a breather from carbon outputs, chronically stifling air quality, disturbance of species and habitats and rabid consumption that we have all become so accustomed to… a temporary turning down of the global dial. Another silver lining is that with fewer opportunities to photograph street art and fewer pieces being painted, I have an opportunity to delve into my archive and bring you some wonderful work that has been dormant on my computer files for a while. This is a resource I will be dipping into for as long as it takes. A trip down memory lane.
First up from June last year is this rat piece from Bad Tast, an artist I posted about not too long ago showing a collaboration with Soap in St Werburghs Tunnel. I don’t know if Bad Taste sprays anything other than rats, but it is an accomplished piece and practiced style and a welcome addition to Bristol street art.
Not exactly a Christmas Day kind of piece, but one I photographed in the tunnel of St Werburghs way back in July this year and have only just got round to posting because… well just because.
It is a rather nice collaboration between Soap (a regular on these pages) on the left and Bad Taste on the right. Soap was undergoing something of a renaissance during the summer and seemed to be churning out bright and happy pieces of which this is a super example.
I know nothing about Bad Taste and can only think that he/she was a visitor to Bristol who’d hooked up with Soap to find a cool place to paint. The rat is really nicely painted and stood out from the crowd in the tunnel for quite some time I seem to recall.
Now get back to your turkey (or vegetarian alternative) and enjoy the rest of this joyous Christmas Day.
The whole Cheltenham experience was new to me, but I had heard of the Honeybourne Line before I went to visit the town for the Paint Festival earlier this month. This disused railway line is now a beautiful footpath leading from the station into the town centre. The tunnels under a footbridge often play host to street/graffiti art, and the walls are buffed each year for the Festival. I will be posting more pieces from this spot in due course, but this first one is by Thisone.
I have seen (and posted) some of his work from London, but this is the first time I have seen his work away from the capital. His archetypal work is in shades of black and white with an animal or bird as a central character, usually dressed with some jewellery. This curious piece meets all of these criteria, but the beast is an unusual one, looking like a cross between a bird of prey and a rat. I was lucky enough to meet the artist, and will talk more about our encounter when I post his other Festival piece in due course.
I have seen one or two pieces by Roo in Bristol, and might even have seen some in London before, but this one is one of the most memorable so far. It features a rather self-satisfied rat sitting on a pot of paint, with a brush in hand, and I think we have to assume he painted the ROO in the background.
I am wondering if this piece was painted for the #Do1Cancer campaign, as many other pieces down there were hashtagged with the campaign. To me it looks like Roo has been very clever and turned the pot of Dulux paint into a ‘DU1’, if this is the case then I doff my cap, if not then I have seen something that was not intended. Either way this is a delightful piece from the London-based artist.
This is the second angry mouse/rat character I have posted by Saik One, and it is great to see more work from this relative newcomer to the streets of Bristol. It was painted on the southern M32 roundabout wall and happened to be adjacent to another street art rat whose creator is unknown to me.
I think that Saik One has hit upon a winning formula in terms of a clean piece and highly identifiable character, I am interested however to see where this starting point takes us. I have a piece of writing by Saik One somewhere, so I know there is some range there. More to come from this emerging talent.
There are quite a few of these large rocks dotted around Bristol, I think originally strategically placed to stop people illegally parking on curbsides. Several of them have been brightened up by the brilliant artist Rowdy. Best known for his toothy crocodiles, this artist has a knack for turning the mundaine into something interesting.
Seeing the world through a different lens is a skill. Helping others to see your visions is a gift, and one that Rowdy exploits with ease. This rat, I’m sure, is a favourite with the thousands of visitors to the city farm, young and old alike. I’ll see if I can dig out some more of his ‘rock works’.
I took an awful lot of pictures of the street art in New York, and probably only scratched the surface, but I think that these breaks in my Bristol posts will probably be a regular occurrence for a long while to come.
This is a wonderful collaboration called Rat Boi, by Sheryo and The Yok, which was sprayed in April 2017. It was commissioned by The New Allen, an art foundation created by Baby Brasa and Milan Kelez…I read that bit you know.
I don’t know either of these artists, but this is an eye-catching piece that for me has a retro feel to it, albeit in a contemporary context.