I haven’t posted much from this hoarding for quite a long time, mainly because the stuff that gets painted there is rarely up to scratch, but also because I don’t pass by this way as frequently as I used to. How nice it was to fins a PWA collaboration here a short while ago.
The pool of artists in the PWA crew numbers about five or six, but pretty much ever-presents are Soap and Face 1st. The left hand side of the triptych is by Soap and contains both of the icons he likes to use at the moment, the Ice King and a Face 1st girl. The whole thing hangs together well and there are rather nice floral bursts throughout.
Face 1st has written Face with some nice deep block letters and a dismembered leg running through it, with gloopy blood dripping from the holes. Face 1st certainly enjoys painting splats and dripping, oozing gunge in his pieces, but this one is a little bloodthirsty.
To the right, the collaboration is rounded off with a portrait and upper torso piece by Zake. The face is full of character and depth, created with light and dark – a Zake speciality. All three pieces are set on a sky blue background decorated with spots, squiggles, clouds and bubbles. It is great to see some decent work on these panels.
Not many artists are painting the long wall at Sparke Evans Park these days, since the arrest of an artist about six or seven months ago. Slowly but surely people are drifting back to the wall, but unusually for Bristol, having to keep their eyes peeled and wits about them at all times. This is a great pity, because this would be a perfect candidate for a legal wall. There is no tagging here, and the colourful wall is an added attraction for people who use the park for recreation. It has become a bit of a ‘wall of fame’, well respected and curated in a self-policing manner.
This far end of the wall was recently painted by Face 1st and Soap in one of their PWA pairings. To the left, Face 1st continues to explore different ways in which he can slice a face up. Very rarely for the artist, he has not tried to work in the letters FACE into the piece, rather he is focussed on the task in hand, the slicing.
Soap too continues to explore a theme he has been enjoying recently, spelling out his name with the ICE King for an ‘A’ and a Face 1st face for the ‘A’. Although the colours the artists have chosen are a little muted on a dull day, they are nonetheless attractive and have been beautifully worked into both pieces. Great to see something new on this wall.
This is the final piece from a joyful collaborative paint jam from the PWA crew a few weeks ago. This section is by Soap, and rounds off the whole thing perfectly. It will be a sad day indeed when the last remaining hoardings are removed from Greenbank, and this creative space is returned to bland indifference.
Soap spells out his name in chrome and yellow, with a thick blue and thin white border, set on a pink background shared by all the pieces in the collaborative space. The inclusion of the Ice King and a Face 1st inspired girl, making up the ‘O’ and ‘A’ respectively is something Soap seems to be working on at the moment and is consistent with a piece of his that I posted a few days ago. This was a rip-roaring PWA paint jam.
This is a cracking Soap piece from another recent PWA paint jam – these guys are certainly getting busy, and with the days starting to get noticeably longer I would expect to see quite a lot more from them in the coming weeks and months.
Soap appears to have moved on quite a bit from his skull/mouth days and has been having fun writing SOAP with a combination of characters and incredible fills and details. The Ice King cartoon character is becoming a regular feature in his work, and in this piece the ‘A’ of SOAP is a lovely nod to his PWA friend Face 1st. This is a dazzling and fin piece from Soap.
This piece by Soap, was so good, I had to photograph it twice. The first time I tried, the results were terrible on account of strong sun and shade scattered over the piece. I made sure that my return visit was on an overcast day, with some better images.
Soap likes painting this character, which I think might be based on the cartoon character Ice King from the animated TV series Adventure Time, although I am not completely sure about that. This creation is a thing of beauty, and not only features the chrcter, but also spells out SOAP. A few gems thrown in for good measure, this is a masterclass in contemporary writing from Soap.
I think that 2022 was the most prolific year for Bristol street/graffiti art ever. More artists joined the already large cohort, and it would seem that many of them painted more often than before. Of course, this is counterbalanced a little by the departure of some artists, and others going to ground for sustained periods. Overall, though, it was a bumper year. What this means is that there are way too many great pieces that were left ‘on the cutting room floor’, so the next few posts will be an attempt to dig out some of the pieces I simply didn’t have time to post during the year. Starting in January 2022 with this splendid collaboration between Face 1st, Kool Hand and Soap.
I have a feeling that the reason I didn’t post this at the time is that my first round of photographs were sun/shade impacted – this is a spot to be photographed on dull days. To the left is a typically happy piece from Face 1st, that really set the tone for the joy he spread for the rest of the year.
The middle section was painted by Kool Hand, with this really on-point crocodile holding a marker pen. I was chatting with Face 1st earlier this week, and he said that he felt that this piece really demonstrated how Kool Hand had moved up a level, and I would definitely agree.
Finally, (and it is always finally, because Soap always paints on the right-hand side of a collaboration) we have a superbly expressive piece of writing from Soap, one of his very best, in my opinion, with stacks of movement and interest. Even if you can’t quite read his letters, he has signed the piece with his tag three times for good measure. I am so sorry you have had to wait a whole year for this one.
The Pirate Wall Art (PWA) crew have had a fantastic year, as individuals and as collaborators, creating some of the most memorable pieces in Bristol, and this one at the entrance of St Werburghs tunnel is as memorable as any.
The trio of Face 1st, Soap and Zake have created this fun piece, with Face 1st and Soap propping up a frog by Zake. Everything you’d want to see from these three is here, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.
One of the great pleasures in life is coming across a PWA collaboration, and this little beauty painted under Brunel Way recently was a real treat. It is a well-balanced triptych, with Face 1st on the left, Zake in the middle and Soap on the right. It is an interesting observation that most of the time when Face 1st and Soap get together, they nearly always paint this way round – it must simply feel comfortable that way.
Face 1st’s piece in chrome is a nice simple girl’s face with the letters FACE neatly spaced around the edge, with a deep black 3D drop shadow and neatly bounded with a thin green line. Basic stuff done really well.
The middle section, or ‘filling of the sandwich’, is this unusual portrait piece by Zake. I am not too sure what is going on here, but it looks like the brain of the blue character is being expelled through his mouth, and that the brain appears to have a character all of its own. Quite bizarre, but beautifully painted with all the fine shading attributes associated with Zake’s work.
The symmetry is completed with another chrome piece, this one by Soap, to the right, reflecting the basic design of Face 1st’s on the other side. The central element is Soap’s characteristic mouth/skull ‘super tag’ with the letters SOAP encircling it. All in all, a wonderful piece from the PWA boys to brighten up our dull existence.
I genuinely thought that this wall would become redundant when work began on redeveloping the building about a year ago, a suspicion exacerbated when they put some windows in the wall. My fears may have been unfounded, as the wall appears to be intact and has regular makeovers, many of them quite fantastic, like this PWA collaborative wall from a short while ago.
The three artists are Face 1st, Chill and Soap, and together they have created an upbeat and rather fun triptych. Face 1st on the left ha painted one of his traditional smiling face characters whose hair is made up of the letters FACE – full of joy.
In the middle, Chill has created one of his cartoon-style line drawings with quite a story going on. I don’t know what the story is, but it includes a bird, a rose and a scroll with the artist’s name on it. More mischief and fun.
To the right is Soap’s contribution in which he continues the colour selections, backfilling his letters spelling SOAP and featuring (a many of his posts do) the Ice King from Adventure Time – a cartoon series that sadly passed me by. Nice work from this PWA trio.
It is pretty much impossible to observe one of these classic Soap pieces and not feel a small wave of happiness wash over you. The stylised laughing mouths/skull shaped characters are a trademark mega-tag that Soap has been painting and refining for years.
This piece in great bronze colours was one part of an outstanding PWA paint jam, that included Face 1st and Chill, and a guest appearance from Kool Hand. The finishing on this piece is first class and demonstrates amply Soap’s skills.