3596. St Paul’s

Bright sun is my enemy (only in the context of photographing street art, you understand), it adds the kind of interest to a piece that I could well do without, in this case the ‘interest’ is a blooming huge shadow cast across this magnificent corner piece by Sepr.

Sepr, St Paul's, Bristol, March 2021
Sepr, St Paul’s, Bristol, March 2021

Sepr always has been and continues to be on fire with his distinctive cartoon style of character-based pieces and this one is a masterpiece. The central character is a Pied Piper playing on a flute, surrounded by an entranced troop of rats (mice?).

Sepr, St Paul's, Bristol, March 2021
Sepr, St Paul’s, Bristol, March 2021

The rats appear to be dancing to the tune of the piper, seemingly under his/her spell while a bird nonchalantly looks on eating some popcorn. How on earth does Sepr come up with narratives like this? He is a master storyteller, and we are blessed in Bristol that he decorates our walls so beautifully and frequently.

3578. M32 roundabout J3 (296)

Aah, such deep joy. This is my favourite collaboration of the year so far. For me it simply speaks of spring, of life, of happiness. The colours are strong and vibrant and the execution of the two elements of the collaboration by Billy and Sepr is so natural and so very easy on the eye.

Sepr, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021
Sepr, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021

On the right of the piece is a classic Sepr character holding an old wired telephone handset stating that ‘it’s for you’ and expecting at any moment to hand the phone over. The colours are magical and the green shadow is outrageously bold but somehow works brilliantly.

Billy, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021
Billy, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021

To the left is a visual interpretation of what is being heard in the earpiece of the telephone handset. ‘Hello, this is spring, can I help you’ says Billy’s half of the mural both in words and visually. A rural landscape with a lamb and daffodils and a spring rainbow are contained in a speech bubble. This is magnificent and I would challenge even the coldest hearted critic of street art not to find some happiness in this piece.

Billy and Sepr, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021
Billy and Sepr, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021

I’ve not seen these two collaborate before, but if this is anything to go by I sincerely hope it is not the last time.

3573. M32 roundabout J3 (294)

I think that Sepr is probably my favourite character artist in Bristol, and let me tell you that the bar is very high, so this is praise indeed. The last few weeks have had me purring because he has been very productive indeed. I guess that he is making the most of lockdown and I suspect that his frequency of street work will drop once things move to a new normal.

Sepr, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021
Sepr, M32 roundabout, Bristol, March 2021

This piece was painted as part of an ASK collaborative wall, but sadly has already been over-painted. The subject of the piece is a paintbrush combing his pink hair and looking rather cool, in spite of his half moon spectacles. Sepr has a very special talent for making the inanimate animate and his style has an interesting retrospective feel about it. You can see how his tattoo design style maps across onto walls to create these interesting pieces. I love this.

3552. Lucky Lane (3)

There are little gifts out there, left behind by artists, all that’s left to do is get out there and find them. Part of my love of photographing and writing about street art is making little discoveries and opening my eyes and looking, not simply seeing. I have been down this lane a couple of times and it is off the beaten track a bit, but my most recent visit was well rewarded with this fabulous saxophone-playing seagull by Sean Sepr. How brilliant is that?

Sepr, Lucky Lane, Bristol, March 2021
Sepr, Lucky Lane, Bristol, March 2021

Painted on a clean wall and captured on a gorgeous day, this piece screams out happiness and a carefree feeling, something that has been difficult to find over the last year. For a few moments I was absorbed by this outstanding and humorous piece from Sepr, and allowed to forget about other matters. I have no idea how old this piece is, but it looked pretty fresh to me.

3489. Brunel Way bridge (90)

My heart always beats a little faster when I find a new Sepr piece, and this one, part of a full wall collaboration, is pure Sepr at his creative best. As with so many of the great Bristol character painters, it is often very difficult to know what is going on, but art I guess is partly the intention of the artist and partly the interpretation of the viewer.

Sepr, Brunel Way, Bristol, February 2021
Sepr, Brunel Way, Bristol, February 2021

The rather concerned character seems to be holding a mask with a happy face on it, so maybe this piece is about hiding our true feelings and emotions behind a happy facade. The soft touch and expert spray work from Sepr is epitomised by the shades of orange on the character’s shirt giving the material depth and texture. This is a tour de force from one of the very best in Bristol.

3463. Cumberland Basin

I can’t recall seeing these two collaborating before, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, simply that my memory doesn’t serve me as well as it used to. Sepr and Acer One is a partnership that I wouldn’t have predicted, as their styles are very contrasting, but this new wall is Cumberland Basin is absolutely spiffing.

Acer One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021
Acer One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021

The central section is by Acer One and is an amazingly technical piece of writing, based on a geometric design style for which he is known. Standing up close, it is near impossible to work out what these letters say, but by stepping back, the brain interprets it more easily and it says ‘More Love’ – I don’t think any of us can argue with that.

Sepr, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021
Sepr, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021

The central panel is bookended by two exquisite characters from Sepr. On the left is a devilish Cupid whose love arrows are finding mischief, in particular with a seagull who appears to be smitten.

Sepr, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021
Sepr, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021

To the right a female Cupid character is also firing love arrows across the piece. I don’t quite know what these two characters symbolise, but they are brilliantly painted and a lot of fun. Maybe they are a representation of the frustrations of lockdown and our distance from our loved ones.

All in all a superb collaboration and well worth a visit.

Sepr and Acer One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021
Sepr and Acer One, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, January 2021

3404. M32 Spot (98)

What a delightful surprise and late Christmas present from Epok and Sepr at the very top end of Stapleton Road. It is especially nice to see Epok back in Bristol, as he seems to do most of his writing in the Stroud area in abandoned buildings that I haven’t yet discovered.

Epok, M32 Spot, Bristol, December 2020
Epok, M32 Spot, Bristol, December 2020

I think the last piece I saw from Epok was back in July in the ASK collaboration in New Gatton Street, so this is a long-overdue treat. Epok’s writing really is out of the top drawer and his heavily designed shapes and colour schemes never cease to amaze. The letters here spell EPOK, but it might take a little while to ‘get your eye in’.

Sepr, M32 Spot, Bristol, December 2020
Sepr, M32 Spot, Bristol, December 2020

To the right of the glorious Epok writing is a witty reflection of 2020 by Sepr. Last year will be remembered as the one when irrational panic buying of toilet roll became almost as widespread as the Covid-19 virus. Here Sepr has painted a loo roll (avec crown) seeing in the New Year with a bottle of wine.

Epok and Sepr, M32 Spot, Bristol, December 2020
Epok and Sepr, M32 Spot, Bristol, December 2020

Finding this collaboration pretty much made my day and was a perfect way to wave goodbye to 2020.

3367. Brigstocke Road

Finding one Sepr piece is always a treat but to find three is like Christmas coming early, and Christmas certainly came early for me a week or two back. I had taken the dog for a road walk – it is way to muddy in most of the parks at the moment and I was weaving around aimlessly in St Paul’s when I came across Dicky’s Barbershop and these three new pieces.

Sepr, Brigstocke Road, Bristol, December 2020
Sepr, Brigstocke Road, Bristol, December 2020

Each of the window shutters and the door shutter has a different prime colour piece on it. The door in the centre on a yellow background has a lady with an umbrella petting her dog who is upright on his hind legs.

Sepr, Brigstocke Road, Bristol, December 2020
Sepr, Brigstocke Road, Bristol, December 2020

On the left of the door is the blue panel in which a man is sitting and reading a book while a little bird is perching on the top of the book and pooping on the man’s toes.

Sepr, Brigstocke Road, Bristol, December 2020
Sepr, Brigstocke Road, Bristol, December 2020

The third panel, to the right of the door is set on a red background and hosts another man sitting cross-legged listening to music on his earphones while two birds flutter around him, looking like they are enjoying the music too.

Quite what any of this has to do with a barbershop I don’t know, but it brightens the place up no end.

3324. Dighton Street (4)

Sepr owns these two little walls at the end of Dighton Street. For several years now he has had a couple of musicians keeping us all smiling in these spaces and what pleasure they have brought. Each time they get tagged or a bit tatty he repainted them looking slightly different each time. This is the third incarnation that I am aware of, but there may have been more.

Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol, November 2020
Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol, November 2020

The first character is a gentleman with a trumpet, painted in the customary grey scale with a vibrant red tabard and ribbon round his hat. An extra special and contemporary element is the addition of a face mask in the PPE blue we have all become so familiar with.

Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol, November 2020
Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol, November 2020

The other piece features a lady musician playing a violin also masked. I love these pieces to bits and particularly like this recent makeover. Sepr has a great gift and we are privileged to benefit from it.

Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol, November 2020
Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol, November 2020

Below are some of the older versions for comparison:

  • Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol, November 2020
  • Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol, December 2017
  • Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol August 2015
  • Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol, November 2020
  • Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol, December 2017
  • Sepr, Dighton Street, Bristol August 2015

3271. Princes Place (2)

This wall is an epic wall. There had been an incredible 3Dom piece here for a long time which was replaced by an exceptional Sepr and 3Dom collaboration and now in its most recent makeover we are blessed with this outstanding Sepr and Inkie collaboration.

Sepr, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020
Sepr, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020

On the left we have a classic masked thief in a stripy black and white top breaking a safe, stethoscope in hand. Everything about this cartoon character is brilliant – I just don’t know how Sepr can do this with spray paint, it is quite remarkable and I am awe.

Inkie, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020
Inkie, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020

On the right is a stunning piece of writing from Inkie with the words ‘Take the money and run’ with the words ‘the’ and ‘and run’ highlighted in different fontd and colours from the main body of writing. The ‘the’ is just so Inkie!

Sepr and Inkie, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020
Sepr and Inkie, Princes Place, Bristol, October 2020

While I am not too sure what the whole piece refers to, I don’t think matters too much because the class of the artistry simply screams out – one of the best collaborations I have seen for quite a while. What is it about this wall?

Sepr and 3Dom, Princes' Place, Bristol, February 2018
Sepr and 3Dom, Princes’ Place, Bristol, February 2018

3Dom, Princes Place, Bristol, February 2016
3Dom, Princes Place, Bristol, February 2016