Even though Aspire no longer lives in Bristol, I have managed to come across some of his work this year, which is a joyful thing. Of all the artists that have left Bristol in recent years, I miss his work (and that of Kleiner Shames) the most. Thank goodness for festivals such as Upfest and the Cheltenham Paint Festival, which have encouraged Aspire to leave London and share his work in the provinces.
This piece is an absolute belter, with a beautiful Robin, set alongside some silver birch trees and weirdly a bottle of sun spray. I’m not quite sure I get the significance of the plastic bottle, but it certainly sets up an interesting juxtaposition in the piece. As always the whole thing is superbly crafted, and Aspire’s pixelated sections perform the job of a signature. Top work from Aspire.
I think that one of the spin-off benefits of the Upfest 2021 75×75 event has been that I have spent a whole lot more time in Bedminster this summer than I normally would, and in doing so have come across a few gems, like this one by Andy Council, that I might not have ordinarily seen.
This piece, which I assume is a commission, features a robin red-breast made up of multiple components stitched together with pink cord. This stitching theme is one that Andy Council has been working on a lot over the past couple of years and seems to have superseded his architectural blocks for which he is most famous. The sketch of this piece on his Instagram feed has a slightly better proportioned neck on the Robin, but I am perhaps being a bit picky. A wonderful little piece.
* a terrible thing happened this lunchtime when my children and I were sitting outside the kitchen enjoying the sunshine. Our conversation was interrupted when one of our dear little robins flew into the open kitchen door, the top half of which is glass. This was about a foot behind my head.
The three of us were utterly shocked. The robin died moments later in my hand. It was traumatic to say the least, and I feel so responsible. I keep singing ‘who killed cock robin… I said the sparrow with my bow and arrow’.
The interaction between humankind and nature is so delicate. Our impacts are everywhere, but I suppose in many ways some of our interactions benefit wildlife.
This all feels so much more painful because of the amazing experience of watching a pair of robins raise five chicks successfully in our greenhouse only days ago. Oh dear.
This is a lovely mural by Cheo, especially if you happen to be a Bristol City fan. The team are known as the Robins, and Cheo has incorporated this into his tribute to the football club. I’m not entirely sure how long this piece has been here, but I suspect it is several years.
One of the surprising things perhaps, or maybe I am just too cynical, is that it hasn’t been vandalised in any way by supporters of the rival Bristol club, Bristol Rovers. I do like it when two of my passions converge like this, but it doesn’t happen as often as one might think (now planning to search my archive for football-related street art). As an Arsenal fan, I have no allegiance to either of the Bristol teams and always want both to do well for the sake of the city.