John D’oh is an artist whose work I have enjoyed enormously over the years, but I simply don’t see his work all that often as he tends to scatter it around the West of England and often in places I don’t visit often. Well Burnham-on-Sea is a bit of a John D’oh goldmine, so this is the first of several posts of his work from this sleepy town.
This is a typical single-layer stencil from John D’oh that is humorous with strong undertones of seriousness. His work often features political satire, and he is definitely a visual commentator, chronicler and observer of our time. Here though the simple message is illustrated with a mildly macabre scene, and one that many cat owners will be all too familiar with. It was great to find this and several other pieces on my trip to the coast.
I will never quite understand why some artists never have as high a profile on Natural Adventures as they deserve, this is even more puzzling when those artists are as talented and creative as I bee W. I have several of his pieces in my archive simply waiting to be posted, but they are trapped. I wasn’t going to let that happen with this wonderful stencil piece in Weston-super-Mare
The stencil is unusual, because it features a nude figure which is very unusual in UK street art. Maybe we were prudish or something, but nude art is rarely seen. The complex, multi-layered stencil is typical of the excellent work we see from I bee W, and has a sense of optimism and freedom about it. I will be unearthing more work from this fabulous stencil artist.
This is a stunning stencil by an artist to whom I owe my interest in street art, alongside Kid Crayon, Face 1st and Mr Draws; it is of course the unmistakable (apart from those that confuse him with Banksy) JPS, who grew up in Weston-super-Mare but now lives on the continent.
On the side wall of a café, looking out to sea, is this young girl complete with a camera, snapping up the views of the Pier and Severn Estuary. Her patterned dress is particularly nicely done in this sharp multi-layer stencil.
On my walk around the town I met an old lady who lives two doors down from where JPS grew up, and she said what a lovely boy he was and was obviously very proud of his art and talent, she seemed very knowledgeable about the new pieces in town and was utterly engaged with the street art scene, so good to see. JPS has played no small part in influencing these positive attitudes. Lots more from JPS to come.
I met Karl Read at the Cheltenham Paint Festival last year, and what a very nice bloke he is too. He is an artist who appears to enjoy painting at festivals, and he has certainly been to several Upfest events in the past, this is his 75 walls in 75 days contribution.
This is a superb bright and vibrant piece that makes great use of this slightly awkward wall. The message, in large colourful letters, is clear for all to see and will resonate with all but the most miserable people. Karl Read has chosen to paint his characters, a boy and a girl at each end of the letters, in black and white, probably using a stencil. The characters contrast beautifully with the letters and somehow bring out the colour even more. An upbeat and positive piece from the Upfest veteran.
Finding pieces you were not looking for is probably the most rewarding part of photographing street art, and with the 75 walls in 75 days event being held by Upfest, I am having to explore a little bit more of Bedminster and in doing so I stumbled upon this wonderful stencil piece from Stewy.
The stencil is part of a local icon series and features Ken who is something of a character and legend in the neighbourhood. Bristol, like so many towns and cities, seems to have a great many local characters, bringing colour to the city. Stewy’s work is pretty much always a single-layer stencil, and counterintuitively is probably more difficult to portray depth and detail than multi-layered stencils. This is a skilfully crafted and most excellent piece.
One of the notable things about Stewy is that he skulks around, a little bit like the fox depicted in this stencil, without fanfare or pomp and with great modesty leaves us with some beautiful and lasting art to enjoy. Stewy selects his spots very carefully and few if any get tagged or over-painted because of where they are.
Stewy is a well known artist who gets a lot of commissions, and alongside his animal work, he is famous for his stencils of well-known people such as pop stars, politicians and other notable figures. In this gorgeous piece he has painted a fabulous Bristol fox in this three-layer stencil. This fox might have been there forever, or might be relatively recent, but that is the thing with Stewy, it is hard to know sometimes.
I have only managed to capture a fraction of the Recent John D’oh stencils as he tends to spray them at spots I don’t visit too often (something better change). The last time I looked at this column there was a Pekoe sketch, so I know that this stencil isn’t very old.
As we are accustomed to seeing, John D’oh once again combines his political commentary with humour in this case ridiculing Rishi Sunak for his astounding 1% pay increase for nurses after all they have done and achieved for the nation in the last year. Yet another jaw-dropping moment from this ‘compassionate’ administration. At this moment I ought to say that it is not only nurses. As someone who works in the public sector, I have been on the wrong end of a pay freeze for ten years which was lifted last year and I received a 2% rise, but we are now back to a pay freeze. Meanwhile MPs and bankers (the architects of the banking crisis) have seen their salaries increase very nicely thank you. Respect to John D’oh for calling out these people.
I always enjoy finding John D’oh pieces, and that pleasure is always heightened when it is a piece that you just didn’t know was there, which to be fair is most of the time with John D’oh. I found this one while I was looking for an Andy Council/Acer One collaboration near Temple Meads Station.
This is another political piece from this stencil master and is a commentary on the appalling costs of rail travel in this country alongside the dreadful service provided. I’m not too sure how long it will last here, given its location, but good on John D’oh for keeping this in the spotlight. This country is a mess.
A trip to Purdown is always rewarding, even scrambling through winter mud is worth it, because there are often some real gems to be found like this Christmas piece by John D’oh featuring Boris Johnson and Michael Gove thinly disguised as the Grinch and a pandemic scientist.
Never one to pass up a chance to parody the half-wits running our country, this piece from John D’oh turned out to be somewhat prophetic. The appalling decision to relax lockdown restrictions over Christmas has contributed to the sorry state we see ourselves in, and all for the sake of vain popularity. I love what John D’oh does in exposing these charlatans.
This wall used to have a wonderful tribute piece on it to honour DJ Derek by Deamze and Sepr. From speaking to a local, I understand that the owners of the wall loved it, but they had to have some damp treatment work done on the house and the mural had to go as part of that. The result is a vast wall that is crying out for decoration
Who should come along, but Stewy, who has some other pieces nearby, to place a stencil of a duck, high up on the wall perching on a pipe. Although a small piece, it commands the wall and adds interest for passers by who manage to extract themselves from their mobile technology and look at the world around them.
This is a fun stencil, and I can imagine a wry smile on the artist’s face when he painted this. This is all part of the circle of life of a Bristol wall.