4890. Upfest 2022 (65)

RJ77stencils, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
RJ77stencils, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

The 1M square boards at Upfest tend to lend themselves perfectly to small detailed stencil pieces which can sometimes be lost on larger walls, and this is a perfect example of an outstanding stencil piece in exactly the right format.

RJ77stencils, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
RJ77stencils, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

RJ77stencils has created this haunting and compelling piece of a girl with her head in her hands and the words: ‘Sometimes all I want to do is hide’. The greyscale stencil has at least five layers and possibly more, which bring out all the different textures in the piece, especially on the girl’s jumper. There is so much emotion conveyed in this clever and perfectly executed stencil, demonstrating how the technique comes into its own. Great work from RJ77stencils.

4865. Horfield skate park (12)

John D'oh, Horfield skate park, Bristol, November 2022
John D’oh, Horfield skate park, Bristol, November 2022

Christmas has come a little early this year in the form of this great stencil piece by John D’oh at Horfield skate park. It is a strong reminder that as we head into an unusual Christmas period with the backdrop of our very own cost of living crisis, we need to be mindful that there are others facing constant troubles far worse than our own. This stencil reminds me of an answer I give to my children when they ask me what I want for Christmas and I give them the same reply every time (I am a dad after all); “all I want for Christmas is world peace”. The answer is deliberately both humorous and serious, a blend John D’oh achieves here.

John D'oh, Horfield skate park, Bristol, November 2022
John D’oh, Horfield skate park, Bristol, November 2022

This piece also reminds me of a Costah piece that I posted a few days ago from my trip last June to Porto, which represents a street artist acting as a chronicler of these troubled times, something that John D’oh excels at. Let us all wish for peace this Christmas.

Costah, Porto, Portugal, June 2022
Costah, Porto, Portugal, June 2022

4841. St Werburghs

Stinkfish, St Werburghs, Bristol, November 2022
Stinkfish, St Werburghs, Bristol, November 2022

Every now and then you get lucky, being in the right place at the right time. This is particularly true of finding street art on vehicles, and I was fortunate enough to see this Stinkfish piece on the side of a van parked up outside St Werburghs City Farm around a week ago.

Stinkfish, St Werburghs, Bristol, November 2022
Stinkfish, St Werburghs, Bristol, November 2022

Some readers might remember that Stinkfuish visited Bristol in October 2021 to tidy up a couple of his long-standing pieces in the City, and while he was here he left a few other little ‘surprises’ about the place. I imagine he painted this small portrait piece at around the same time, as it is still in great condition.

Stinkfish, St Werburghs, Bristol, November 2022
Stinkfish, St Werburghs, Bristol, November 2022

If you look carefully, you can just see a black line on the left where paint spilled over from the stencil used to create the black and yellow elements of the portrait. The decorative aspect I think light have been painted on with a brush, although it might be a stencil too, I am not sure. Finding pieces like this is so rewarding, and gives me the same tingle of excitement I get when I find a large shark tooth fossil on Bracklesham Bay beach, on my occasional trips to West Sussex.

4834. M32 Spot (150)

John D'oh, M32 Spot, Bristol, November 2022
John D’oh, M32 Spot, Bristol, November 2022

This is a cheeky piece from John D’oh in the style of a saucy seaside postcard but drawing in some political commentary about our current economic crisis, and he carries if off really well, in my view.

John D'oh, M32 Spot, Bristol, November 2022
John D’oh, M32 Spot, Bristol, November 2022

This piece was painted on a column that previously played host to a Boris Johnson stencil, also by John D’oh, and reminds us of the important role played by political commentators, whether writers or artists, in documenting current events and the impacts of political decisions on society as a whole. Something a little different from John D’oh to enjoy.

4730. Cheltenham 2022 (15)

I have only once before come across Madderdoit, and that was a column stencil piece under Brunel Way in Bristol, so it was good to see a couple more pieces by the artist in the skate park for the Cheltenham Paint Festival, of which this is one.

Madderdoit, Cheltenham Paint Festival, Cheltenham, July 2022
Madderdoit, Cheltenham Paint Festival, Cheltenham, July 2022

The kid sitting among a bunch of spray cans reminds me a little of an early Dice67 piece, and is nicely done. The brightly sprayed heart is also a nice touch, without which the whole thing would be duller. I like the spread of spray cans, but would have created two or three stencils for these and perhaps coloured the tops – but there I go again nit-picking. This is a nice fresh stencil from Madderdoit.

4676. St George skate park (16)

Here are a couple more small stencils from John D’oh over in the St George skate park, which is a spot that he likes to paint on a reasonably regular basis. The first piece leans very heavily on a famous Banksy ‘sandwich-board chimp’, with a different message – ‘Monkey pox… not laughing now are you’, picking up on the increasing number of cases of the virus in the UK. As always, topical and on the ball.

John D'oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022
John D’oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022

The second stencil is a visual/verbal pun in which John D’oh conflates a Rocky quote and image, with an image of a chicken from the film Chicken Run. The quote is – ‘One run can change your day, many runs can change your life’. All a bit of fun.

John D'oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022
John D’oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022

Liz Truss – our new (fourth horseman of the apocalypse) Prime Minister has gifted John D’oh with years worth of satirical material by appointing one of the least moderate, most right wing, inexperienced, ideological Cabinets ever. She will break this country, but at least her mates will have top jobs supporting her with her destruction.

I could go on for hours about just how bad things are, but I think I will keep my powder dry for when things start to unravel. Unfortunately, by then it might be too late for the poorest in our society.

4658. Upfest 2022 (45)

Diff, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Diff, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

Diff is a Bristol street artist who is horribly under-represented on Natural Adventures, and although I have published a few of his pieces before, I still have several in my archives. I will have to dig them out. This most recent piece, for Upfest is a real winner in my view.

Diff, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Diff, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

There is something rather tender and touching about the stencil piece, and the positioning and posture of the kissing characters is just about perfect. Young love beautifully captured in a contemporary way. Such a pity this piece was only on view for two days – perhaps he could recreate it somewhere else in Bristol… hint, hint.

4652. St George skate park (15)

John D'oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022
John D’oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022

John D’oh has had another recent session in St George skate park, and I was able to get up there just before going off on my holiday. This fine stencil is one of several painted on the side of a skate ramp.

John D'oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022
John D’oh, St George skate park, Bristol, August 2022

The artwork is deliberately retro, which seems at odds with the gentleman looking down at a mobile phone, a clever juxtaposition. It is the message that I love, and similar to one I often repeat here on Natural Adventures, encouraging people to look up and see the world around them, absorb it and enjoy the experience. A lovely stencil piece from John D’oh.

4595. Upfest 2022 (35)

I am a huge admirer of Johnman’s incredible pieces, and although I have only seen a handful of them, each one is an absolute cracker. I particularly like this piece, because accidentally or deliberately, the scene blends into the real blue sky behind it, giving a slightly surreal feel to the whole thing.

Johnman, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Johnman, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

Johnman has a gift for producing intrigue and drama in his work, and here we have a girl in a wheat field under a deep blue sky with a dove of peace. The colours suggest that this is a representation of the Ukranian flag and that it is a piece depicting the war with the Dictator Putin’s Russia. A stunning, mysterious and compassionate piece from this outstanding artist.

4501. Upfest 2022 (13)

Alongside all the newcomers to Bristol’s Upfest festival, there is a cohort of ‘regulars’ who turn up and wow us with their talent, year after year. One of these regulars is RTC (Rich Turner) who has been present at several festivals and presented us with this magnificent British bulldog stencil piece this year.

RTC, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
RTC, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

RTC manages to produce these massively detailed and multi-layered stencil pieces that are photorealistic in their appearance. The backgrounds too are beautifully constructed with hexagons bubbles and stars all adding to the structure of the piece. What is most amazing is that it is all contained with; one of the small 1m squared board.