1904. St Werburghs tunnel (56)

I am really pleased to see that Face 1st and Soap have teamed up again, it feels like a while since they last collaborated, to produce this beautiful piece. The two distinct halves are joined by the hair of Face 1st’s girl.

Face 1st, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2018
Face 1st, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2018

I love the concept of Face 1st’s character sketching out an idea in her black book, there is a lovely story unfolding and it brings a whole extra layer to the piece. This really is something special.

Soap, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2018
Soap, St Werburghs, Bristol, December 2018

The Soap half of the collaboration is yet another great example of just how good his writing is with the blue and lilac elements almost resembling stained glass windows. I always feel these two artists are so modest with their work, and it is a pity that something like this is lurking in the darkness of St Werburghs tunnel…it deserves more prominence.

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1882. M32 roundabout J3 (108)

I may be imagining it or it might be a real thing, but Soap seems not only to be doing a lot more work on the street recently, but also is doing more writing. This is a lovely colourful little piece in one of the tunnels of the M32 roundabout combining his writing with his trademark mouths.

Soap, M32 roundabout, Bristol, November 2018
Soap, M32 roundabout, Bristol, November 2018

These tunnels must be a nightmare to paint, because they act as both footpaths and cycle paths and seem to be forever busy. Anyone who can produce art of this quality in these tunnels gets my instant admiration.

1864. Star and Garter (1)

I have known this spot for a long while now, and have visited it a couple of times in the past, but there hasn’t been much that I have been able to get my teeth in to…that is until now. This is a really fabulous piece of writing from PWA’s Soap. Great design, vibrant colours and lovely crisp lines.

Soap, Star and Garter, Bristol, November 2018
Soap, Star and Garter, Bristol, November 2018

I particularly like the way the colours bleed out of the top right hand side in smokey clouds – a clever effect. PWA (Pirate Wall Art) have really been showing the way over the last six months or so, and are a dominant force in the Bristol street art scene. Great spot, great work from Soap.

1856. M32 Spot (32)

This quick one from Soap is another fine example of a Halloween piece which cleverly incorporates a pumpkin into the trademark design that Soap uses. The eyes doubling up as mouths complete with tongue and teeth works pretty well for a spooky effect, but is something Soap does with many of his pieces.

Soap, M32 Spot, Bristol, November 2018
Soap, M32 Spot, Bristol, November 2018

The columns in the M32 spot really lend themselves to these smaller vertical works, and because each one has four sides there is a whole lot of ‘canvas’ for artists to work with. Always fun with Soap.

1795. St Werburghs tunnel (45)

St Werburghs tunnel has been a happy hunting ground for me in recent weeks and it seems that Bristol street artists are spraying there more often. Part of this higher turnover might be due to the reduction in activity in Stokes Croft and in particular in The Bearpit, which since the Council’s crack down on street art is looking grottier than ever, with tatty fly posters hanging off every surface where decent art used to be, and tagging appearing on every wall the council paints. Well, we told you so.

Soap, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2018
Soap, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2018

Meanwhile The Bearpit’s loss is St Werburghs’ gain, and the PWA crew in particular have been having a ball there. This is a lovely piece by Soap featuring a whole load of mouths squished together and his crossed bones motif. Love this one.

1773. St Werburghs tunnel (41)

In this piece, we have everything that I like about the Bristol street art scene. First, it is a collaboration between Tasha Bee and Soap – firm friends and painting buddies. Second it is bright and vibrant and in a highly stylised form. Third, the location, St Werburghs tunnel is just sooo Bristol.

Tasha Bee and Soap, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2018
Tasha Bee and Soap, St Werburghs, Bristol, October 2018

The two characters in the collaboration work so very well together and the colours read-across seamlessly. I am more used to seeing the large mouths that Soap is recognised for, and indeed there is a hint of that on the hat of his character, but it is this wonderfully expressive face that he paints from time to time that I really like. I was so happy to come across this piece, especially as the turnover in the tunnel is particularly high at the moment.

1700. M32 roundabout J3 (92)

A serendipitous meeting. I had a couple of hours to race around Bristol seeking out any new works before going away on my summer holiday in mid-August, and the last port of call before packing up the car and heading for Gatwick was the M32 roundabout.

Soap, Tasha Bee and Face F1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018
Soap, Tasha Bee and Face F1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018

As I approached the southern wall I could see Tasha Bee at work, which in itself was very exciting because I have recently become more aware of her work and have been keen to meet the artist. I struck up a conversation with her and could see that she was contributing to a collaboration with PWA’s Soap and Face F1st. I said that I was sorry to have missed them because I would like to meet them both, whereupon she told me that they were sitting on the grass bank right behind me. Hurrah! I stopped for a chat with them all (I hope I didn’t interfere too much with their work) and Face 1st let me have a flick through his black book which felt like a real privilege.

Soap, Tasha Bee and Face F1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018
Soap, Tasha Bee and Face F1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018

Soap and Face F1st had pretty much finished their pieces and were watching on and advising Tasha Bee as she completed hers. I love the way that the cross motif has been shared by Soap and FF, and I am seriously enjoying the full figure work that the latter is producing at the moment. The girl with the face is emerging and coming to life.

Soap, Tasha Bee and Face F1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018
Soap, Tasha Bee and Face F1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018

Sadly I never got to see the the finished piece which got buffed over within a few days, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of meeting three lovely artists and seeing them at work. We’ll meet again…

Soap, Tasha Bee and Face F1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018
Soap, Tasha Bee and Face F1st, M32 roundabout, Bristol, August 2018