3439. Cumberland Basin

As gentrification in the city picks up pace, traditional graffiti hot spots are becoming fewer and fewer – there is often a stay of execution while hoardings go up around a development, but eventually these come down revealing pristine new student accommodations or other unaffordable housing, inappropriate for the communities that live near these developments. One of the knock-on effects is that the turnover of street art/graffiti on the remaining walls has increased considerably. This wall in the Cumberland Basin is a great example of a wall that is changing more and more frequently.

Slakarts, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020
Slakarts, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, December 2020

Slakarts gives us a double-vision version of his smiling three-quarter profile mega-tag in this happy piece alongside Rezwonk, just to the right. Slakarts has been turning these out on a reasonably regular basis over the last six months or so but they all face the same direction – it would be interesting to see if he could replicate them looking the other way. There is something quite seductive about this piece – it is unusual and set in a vibrant context. Expect more like this before too long.

3418. M32 roundabout J3 (274)

Over the last three or four months, Slakarts has been rather busy with his three-quarter profile throw-up character, and probably produced more of these than his regular and rather more complex faces. This one is on one of the tunnel entrances of the M32 roundabout. There is an interesting artefact of photography, light and paint in this piece… in the feature photograph you can see the ghosts of old graffiti underneath the white parts, but in the content photograph below, the white fill is simply white. Curious.

Slakarts, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2020
Slakarts, M32 roundabout, Bristol, December 2020

I rather like this one from Slakarts because it is a little bit more finessed than some of the others in this series. The black lines are clean and the blue outlines work very well indeed. More of these in the archive!

3374. St Werburghs tunnel (213)

Slakarts has been very busy lately, especially with his three-quarter cartoony profile throw up pieces, so it was great to come across this rather more traditional-looking piece from him in the tunnel recently.

Slakarts, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2020
Slakarts, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2020

Slakarts’ work is very distinct and rather different from most of the character pieces you see around Bristol. This particular face is rather austere and serious and contains some nice detail, such as the lines around the eyes. Some great shading and spots round this piece off nicely. I definitely feel a Slakarts gallery coming on very soon.

3348.St Werburghs tunnel (211)

I had to have two goes to get photographs of this piece because it was raining the first time and when I got home to check the images, they were obscured by a rather annoying water drop on the camera lens – it happens from time to time.

Mes One, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2020
Mes One, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2020

On the left of this collaboration is a rather tidy piece of graffiti writing spelling out MES from Mes One. I’m not sure if I have posted anything by the artist before, but he seems to do the odd piece occasionally, and he has collaborated with Slakarts on more than one occasion. I love the red dots at the base of the letters, a very nice touch.

Slakarts, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2020
Slakarts, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2020

On the right, Slakarts gives us another of his three-quarter character portraits that he seems to be so fond of at the moment. Together these two fill this particular space at the entrance to the tunnel really well. Looking forward to more collaborations from these two.

3300. M32 Cycle path (55)

On one of my favourite and rather tatty doors alongside the M32 is this newish piece from Slakarts in his newly perfected style of a three-quarter portrait in cartoon style. This particular version has a kind of melting head effect to the right-hand side.

Slakarts, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, October 2020
Slakarts, M32 Cycle path, Bristol, October 2020

I think that Slakarts had a long weekend with a little bit of time on his hands and a new concept he wanted to try out, because four or five of these characters appeared around Bristol at about the same time. It is a pity that some idiot got to the piece before I did and inserted a K on each eye, but in this game, you snooze, you lose.

3288. Cumberland Basin

It took me a little while to solve the mystery of these faces that started to appear all  over Bristol from about September time. Of course the answer was staring me in the face (almost literally) all the time, but I simply didn’t make the connection. It wasn’t until I saw an Instagram post by the artist that the penny dropped. It is of course by Slakarts.

Slakarts, Cumberland Basin, Bristtol, October 2020
Slakarts, Cumberland Basin, Bristtol, October 2020

Slakarts is another artist who has been fairly quiet for most of the year, but suddenly a rash of pieces very similar to this one started appearinng a few weeks ago. It is strange that an artist who is known for using a certain style changes the basic shape of his pieces and then repeats them all over the place in the form of a mega-tag, but that is what Slakarts has done. I like this piece with strong lines and fills, and it certainly catches the eye. Look out for more on Natural Adventures before too long.

3198. St Werburghs tunnel (191)

This is a rather nice collaboration from Kool Hand and Slakarts. I don’t think I have seen anything from the latter for a very long time, but I am truly glad to see something new from him. Kool Hand as you know has been pretty busy of late.

Kool Hand, St Werburghs, Bristol, September 2020
Kool Hand, St Werburghs, Bristol, September 2020

On the left is a familiar sight to regular readers of Natural Adventures, it is of course a capped orangutan, although this time the fills have developed from solid orange to a blended mix of colours, giving a rather nice textured effect.

Slakarts, St Werburghs, Bristol, September 2020
Slakarts, St Werburghs, Bristol, September 2020

To the right is a very nice and long-overdue piece from Slakarts. His faces usually have a symmetry about them and this one certainly conforms to that. Great colours and lovely clean lines separating out the solid fills. This is a very nice piece indeed from Slakarts.

2713. Purdown HAA Battery (1)

I chose a glorious day for my first visit to Purdown HAA Battery where I managed to combine a sensational dog walk with Mrs Scooj and a quick tour of the street/graffiti art on the battery walls. Purdown HAA Battery itself was a Heavy Anti-Aircraft position that overlooks Bristol and that protected the city from bombing raids during WW2. You can find out a some more here. The dog is doing a bit of ‘bombing’ himself.

Slakarts, Purdown HAA Battery, Bristol, January 2020
Slakarts, Purdown HAA Battery, Bristol, January 2020

I knew that there was some art to be found here, but have simply never taken the time to go and take a look. What a silly boy I am. There is quite a lot to look at up there, some old stuff and some more recent like this magnificent face by Slakarts (it’s him again!). This is a lovely clean piece with a great selection of colours and plenty of wrinkles in the face to animate it. Worth the excursion.

2708. Hepburn Road (12)

So here he is again, this time turning up in ‘crack alley’ or Hepburn Road as it is formally known. I am of course talking about Slakarts, an artist that I can’t seem to keep off the pages of Natural Adventures at the moment, and there are more in the pipeline.

Slakarts, Hepburn Road, Bristol, January 2020
Slakarts, Hepburn Road, Bristol, January 2020

This piece is a little different from most of the work we see by this artist, because the face is in semi-profile, where normally his subjects are seen from the front. The piece is nice and clean with strong outlines and solid fills, and there is a little bit of movement going on with the double lines near the nose and cheek. I don’t remember ever seeing a piece by Slakarts down here before and it is good to see him moving about the place.

2695. River Avon (3)

Context is very important to our comprehension of the world around us. I passed this piece last week on a walk I rarely take and I knew I recognised the artist, but my brain just couldn’t compute who it was, because I’m not used to seeing his work outside of the places I would normally come across it. It wasn’t until the return leg of the walk that the penny dropped.

Riverside walk 010 10 January 2020_edited

This is of course a fabulous chrome piece by Slakarts that judging from its condition is fairly recent. Although I have been taking pictures of art by Slakarts for a long time, it is only recently that I have started posting them, due to finding out who he was only a few months ago. Ever since, he seems to have been churning out these faces with alarming regularity, which is all rather good really.

Those glasses are spectacleular (see what I did there?) and I imagine look striking from the opposite bank of the river.