Well now we are getting in to the final 10 pieces from Upfest’s 75 walls in 75 days event and I am getting a little edgy, because my ‘collector’ gene will be working overtime to ensure I get every single one, and that might be difficult.
I don’t normally associate Silent Hobo with Upfest events, so it was really nice to see that he has participated in this most unusual of years with this enormous mural in Ruby Street.
Of course, with so many murals in residential streets for this year’s event, parked cars have been a real problem. I think I might suggest to artists that next year they start their pieces four feet above the ground, or that they paint cars in the lower portion so we don’t actually miss anything (now there’s a creative concept).
As with all of Silent Hobo’s excellent observational work, he captures the mood of ordinary people, especially youngsters so well. One could do a celebration of Bristol, just by showcasing all of his pieces. It would seem that he is very proud of the city and its citizens and his murals are a wonderful record of the city in the 2000s.
Another thing that Silent Hobo portrays beautifully is pets and wild animals. Here he rewards the viewer with a fabulous cameo of a little boy and his dog in a red armchair, a delightful scene. Yet another outstanding wall from Silent Hobo and for Upfest.
A few weeks ago, a friend organised a group (socially distanced by family) visit to a T20 cricket match at the Bristol County Cricket Ground, where Gloucestershire play their home games (Bristol was at one time in the county of Gloucestershire). This was the first match at the ground for 18 months and the sparse crowd created a great atmosphere. We had a really good time. My experience was, of course enhanced by the opportunity to find some Silent Hobo commissions that are within the ground. This is the first I am sharing on Natural Adbentures.
Silent Hobo is a brilliant artist and one of his many qualities is that he is able to work to a brief. In this piece he has faithfully recreated the cricket ground, with a match in progress, and the cricket ball bursting out of the wall. It is a quintessential English scene given the Silent Hobo treatment. So good to see it at last. More to come from this trip.
Silent Hobo paints some of the very best large murals in Bristol and this one on the railway bridge in Stapleton Road is so large that I have split it into component posts to keep it manageable. This bit of the remarkable mural is on the side of the of the bridge and runs perpendicular to the M32 motorway. I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with Silent Hobo as he was just starting on this elevation.
I say this every time I write about Silent Hobo, and I am certainly not going to break with tradition now, that he has an incredible knack for capturing a mood and reflecting it back to us. The youth of Bristol and a contrast of urban clutter offset by nature and hope are themes he explores in so much of his work.
On this section of wall some Easton youths are interaction with nature and their environment, and key to this embrace is rail and bus services which are greener methods of transport than cars. I love the artwork and I love the themes.
I noticed a few days ago that the bottom of this wall had been tagged with white paint, but when I went there yesterday, the offending tags had been painted out. I love it that people care about this community mural. The rest of the mural will be in a new post soon.
One of my favourite Face 1st pieces used to occupy this space, so it is just as well that it has been painted over by another artist whose work I love, Silent Hobo. In fairness the old Face 1st piece had recently been tagged and was looking a little bit sorry for itself. I have a feeling that this piece might be a commission for the cafe opposite, but I can’t say so for sure.
Silent Hobo had been a very busy man this year and has produced a host of excellent new pieces all over the city and this is just the latest to come off the production line. In the heart of St Pauls, this young woman is enjoying a barbecue with a sunny topical beach in the background – just a dream for most of us in these pandemic times, indeed a dream for most of us in normal times. Silent Hobo conjures up a peaceful atmosphere in this laid back part of town.
It seems that Silent Hobo is on a bit of a roll at the moment, especially in the St Werburghs area – I am guessing that he must live nearby judging from the number of new pieces in recent months.
I spotted Silent Hobo painting this piece as I was driving home a couple of weeks ago, but there weren’t any parking spaces nearby and I was in a bit of a hurry, so regrettably I didn’t get a chance to stop for a chat. I returned the following day to take these pictures.
This is an outstanding and uplifting piece, bringing an ordinary and drab doorway to life with a stunning coastal view that dreams are made of. How much we all yearn to get away from it all in these pandemic days. Silent Hobo offers just a tiny moment of escape with this mural. I love, love, love this – if only more drab doors and walls were decorated in this way.
There are few places further removed from the relaxing evening beach scene in this Silent Hobo piece than Temple Way – a busy dual carriageway running through the centre of Bristol. It is this juxtaposition that adds to the overall brilliance of this piece.
Silent Hobo has been unstoppable this year, and on top of that, I seem to be finding loads of his older pieces too, which means he is featuring a lot on Natural Adventures at the moment.
Four youths are getting away from it all chilling on a beach in the sunset, soaking in that connection with nature and our beautiful planet Earth. The piece captures a mood so perfectly and I can imagine myself as one of those youths (I have to think back a long way mind). I find the story in this work a bit depressing because I can’t help feeling that our planet and the ecosystem services it provides are being choked to death by negligent governments and societies worldwide. And on that happy note…
Every year or two, something wonderful happens on the walls of the Dare To adult night club in the form of the Raw Wax Graffiti Jam (thank you Paul). This year’s paint jam was truly exceptional in terms of the pieces created, sadly I didn’t make it on the day, but took some pictures a day or two later.
This full wall piece is an extraordinary and quite brilliant collaboration from Zase and Silent Hobo, full of colour and vibrancy, lifting the spirits in an industrial part of Bristol that is far from inspiring. It is incredible what a lift great street art can give to an area, changing the whole character of a place and this collaboration does that in spades.
On the left hand side Zase has created one of his beautiful 3D anamorphic signatures set on a background of what look like Swiss cheese plant leaves (a favourite for street artists). On the right are a couple of large Bristol youths, always so beautifully portrayed by Silent Hobo. The whole thing works very well indeed and I am not too sure that these two have worked together before, but the result is amazing
When I get the time, which isn’t often, I like to wander away from the ‘sure thing’ spots where I know I will find street art and take a punt on places where I might get lucky. I got very lucky in Belmont Street with this wonderful piece from Silent Hobo, which was adjacent to another much larger piece by him (to come). The whole wall dates back to March 2017, and yes, it has taken me this long to find it.
The girl on the left is, I think, a portrait of the artist’s daughter and on his Instagram feed he called her his ‘little Bee’, and she is finely dressed in a bee costume. I haven’t often seen portrait work like this frrom Silent Hobo, as it tends usually to be more cartoony in style, I think that this is magnificent.
To the right of little Bee is a girl sitting with a cat in an altogether more recognisable style. Silent Hobo has such a talent for portraying young people, their clothes, their postures andd their emotions via expressions. There is nearly always a sense of calm in his work that rubs off on the viewer. This section of wall is masterful and was well worth waiting for. It looks so fresh, it is hard to believe it is over three years old.
Well, here is something that you don’t see every day, a really old piece by Silent Hobo that if you saw it unsigned, could be difficult to identify as it looks not a lot like his current work.
Painted on a back gate, this piece, that would appear to have been here for some time, has a lot of Mario Brothers going on and the Clifton suspension bridge gives it a clear geographical reference. Finding old gems like this one is always incredibly rewarding, especially when not even looking for them.
I have Paul to thank for pointing me in the direction of this amazing Silent Hobo NHS tribute piece in James Street. I would have found it eventually, but not as quickly, and it is always more satisfying finding pieces soon after they have been painted.
Silent Hobo has been pretty busy just lately with some big murals and there is one nearby that is finished, but under scaffolding that seems to have been there forever. This piece is an absolute stunner and injects Silent Hobo’s portrayal of ordinary (extraordinary) Bristol people going about their business, in this case doctors, nurses and care workers to whom we all owe so much, not only during the coronavirus crisis, but always. The piece has context, relevance and purpose and is painted so beautifully with care and love. A wonderful commentary on society in a time of flux and uncertainty. Bravo!