956. Upfest 2017 (22)

A great thing about Upfest is that it gives us all the chance to see emerging local artists and it gives those young artists some great exposure. Lisa Allen is a Bristol artist who started to create urban art only last year, and here we have a stencil piece with a pop art feel to it and the surrounding decorations give it something of a 1980s touch.

Lisa Allen, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Lisa Allen, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

A bright and witty piece which makes good use of the metre square format. I very much look forward to seeing more of her work on the streets of Bristol – perhaps as more ‘legal’ walls are created.

948. Upfest 2017 (18)

Regular viewers of this blog will be familiar with the talents of Georgie, a Bristol artist who uses many different techniques for her street art work. This time she has selected a collage and spray piece with a nice big smiley face. She has incorporated other pieces of her work in the surrounding collage, including the ‘Citizen of Nowhere’ stencil.

Georgie, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Georgie, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
It was all pretty busy in North Street Green where she was working when I passed through, so I decided not to bother her, especially with the showery weather which made things tricky for artists and visitors alike. This was a wonderfully cheerful piece which really embodied the spirit of Upfest. Keep on Smiling.

916. Dean Lane skate park (68)

I was very excited when I saw this paste up by Lemak, and exceptionally talented Bristol stencil artist. Excited because I had seen a short video of him creating it on his Instagram feed only the day before. So this really was hot off the press.

Lemak, Dean Lane, Bristol, July 2017
Lemak, Dean Lane, Bristol, July 2017

I passed by the wall last Friday and it has been badly tagged, so it was fairly short lived, which is a pity. Whenever I see great pieces that are dogged or ruined I am reminded of the fantastic line in Bladerunner – ‘the light that burns twice as bright burns half as long‘ and so it often is with great street art.

Lemak, Dean Lane, Bristol, July 2017
Lemak, Dean Lane, Bristol, July 2017

I love the crisp collage effect with the graff all around – some similarities with the work of PichiAvo?

907. Beaconsfield Road

Anthony Wedgwood Benn, or Tony Benn, will be forever remembered as the Bristol South East Labour MP who ruffled the feathers of the establishment with his hard left wing views. An adopted son of Bristol and much loved MP. This is a lovely tribute to Tony Benn by Stewy.

Stewy, Beaconsfield Road, Bristol, July 2017
Stewy, Beaconsfield Road, Bristol, July 2017

I think I a several years late in posting this fabulous stencil, and it has faded a little over time, but I have only just discovered it, and felt it write to post it as soon as I was able. Stewy has a great track record of creating stencils of important popular figures from Bristol, some of which are recorded previously in the blog. I like his work very much, and this particular piece feels so very right.

902. North Street Green (8)

So here it is, time to get excited about Upfest 2017 with this year’s festival artist Pahnl. There are two of these pieces, one at the North Street Green, and the other at the North Street Standard. Both I expect will be over written at the festival, the latter I believe by Inkie.

Pahnl, North Street Green, Bristol, July 2017
Pahnl, North Street Green, Bristol, July 2017

I don’t really know anything about Pahnl, so it is lucky that the nice people at Upfest have produced a free festival map and a short biography of Pahnl which reads:

‘Living at a lower level of existence, Pahnl’s miniature people, dogs, cats and birds can often be found outside in the street. Taking influence from comics and street signage, whilst adding their own subversive and funny twist, Birmingham-based duo Panhl use stencils, stickers, posters, animation, screen printing, film and photography to bring their own small world to life.’

Pahnl, North Street Standard, Bristol, July 2017
Pahnl, North Street Standard, Bristol, July 2017

So now you know as much as me. Certainly their work has a very strong brand feel to it, and perhaps that is a good thing for the Festival, but it is quite unlike most of the street art you find in Bristol, and maybe not representative. Having said that this is strong and characterful and demonstrates the broad church of street/graffiti art that Upfest espouses. Only a few days now.

Pahnl, North Street Standard, Bristol, July 2017
Pahnl, North Street Standard, Bristol, July 2017

891. North Street Hoardings (8)

I think that Sirens must have been squatting uncomfortably on the ground for a while during the creation of this calming piece in North Street. It is tucked in amongst scaffolding and a small alcove, often used by graffiti artists and taggers. The space smells…well what should I say? a bit like a WC, and I guess that plenty of pub goers relieve themselves here after an evening out.

Sirens, North Street hoarding, Bristol, June 2017
Sirens, North Street hoarding, Bristol, June 2017

How fabulous then to see this uplifting piece so typical of Sirens. Silhouetted houses and rooftops with a magnificent setting sun; an inspirational piece so full of hope. I know that Sirens likes to surprise people with his choice of location and he has excelled with this one. I imagine many will walk past it none the wiser, but those who look around will see it and benefit from the joy it brings. Nice one Sirens!

887. Upfest 2016 (154)

This is an extraordinary piece by Random, called ‘Prisoner 46664’ and is a portrait of Nelson Mandela. Random, originally from Liverpool, lives in North Wales and works with stencils, sculpture and wheatpastes, which scores lots of points with me.

Random, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Random, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

The work is an ingenious stencil with letters cut into it, placed over a red background. The letters are like a wordle of key associations with Nelson Mandela, such as ‘Freedom’ and ‘political’ and ‘rebel’ and ‘statesman’.

Random, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Random, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016

A magnificent piece from Random.