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.
When I arrived in Vale Street (yesterday), my first observation was how incredibly steep the hills around the area are and where Vale Street joins Park Street is quite treacherous [I have just read a Guardian article that says Vale Street is the steepest residential street in England] – fortunately it rarely snows in Bristol, but when it does this must be a no-go zone.
I picked up on a sense of excitement and a bit of a local buzz as trickles of people arrived to look at the brand new Totterdown Banksy and I overheard a conversation which painted quite a picture of a normally quiet and tranquil area… ‘nothing ever happens on our street, it is normally very quiet’ I overheard one young woman say.
Banksy hits walls when people least expect it and in places that tend not to be regular graffiti spots – this was on the side of a house that is in the process of being sold. The occupants have taken the house off the market and are probably reassessing the value of the property. [Update – the owners have not pulled out of the sale, but rather are safeguarding the artwork from being cut out and sold, which I think is a wholly admirable thing to do].
The stencil is called ‘Aachoo!’ and features an old lady who is sneezing so hard that she has dropped her handbag and her walking stick and worse, her false teeth have flown out in front of her. It is all so very Banksy. Incredibly, the Perspex sheet was placed over the piece within hours, which I suppose is a good thing because a lot of his work in Bristol gets tagged or vandalised – goodness only knows why.
Thanks to Paul H for pointing out the Banksy Diana banknotes that were attached to one of the pillars in front of the stencil. I hadn’t noticed these and I daresay nor had most other visitors – their eyes fixed elsewhere. What is extra interesting about these banknotes is that they were added after the photograph that appeared in the Guardian was taken. If that is the case then they were either put there by another artist or Banksy returned to attach them to the pillar – mysterious.
When I have done street art tours for colleagues at work, I call the tours ‘It’s not all about Banksy’, but today and on those very rare days that he sprays his stuff in his old home town it is all about Banksy.
All this time I have been labelling thissprawling spot Brunel Way bridge, but it is rather more like a fly-over. No matter, bridge is what I have called it, so that it is what it is called. At the southenr end of the site there is a little little hot spot of stencils by Remko of which this is the second that I have posted.
The Einstein stencil is perfectly suited to a column, although I’m not too clear what the robot thing is all about. Maybe it is a comment on the AI future that we are facing, maybe not. As far as stencils go, this is rather unusual and it looks like the lines may have bee augmented with a Posca pen or something similar. Fun and original art from Remko.
The Agent is well known in Bristol not only for his Minion stencils, but also for being the father of another significant street artist in Bristol, Angus. At the Cheltenham Paint Festival this September he knocked himself out with this sequence of stencils on the inner panels of an iron railway bridge, along the course of the old Honeybourne Line.
In his single layered stencils The Agent appears to get most of his inspiration from TV or movie cartoons. There don’t appear to be any hidden messages or politics in his pieces, just a whole lot of fun.
Even creating these ‘simple’ stencils is not quite as easy as it might seem, and taking that step from ‘I could do that’ to actually doing it is the key to achieving many things in life. I am not preaching, far from it, I am perhaps reminding myself to pull my finger out and do stuff.
No The Agent wall would be complete without a minions piece, and here he delights us with a fine ‘bananas’ piece. And finally a rainbow flag…
John D’oh always has a strong presence in Cheltenham and his “gallery” of stencils this year was quite outstanding. With his razor sharp commentaries on the state of the nation and beautifully cut stencils, there is no mistaking his work.
This stencil I think dates back a little while and references the Sincura Group who held a Banksy collection exhibition of street art pieces and then contraversially sold them off in a sealed bid auction. Not really the point of street art and willful profiteering. Very nice stencil… any bids?
I have seen a few pieces by Remko in Bristol over the last few years, but this is the first (and will not the last) that I have posted on Natural Adventures. Remko is a Bristol artist who does both studio and street art work and indeed, while researching for this post I realise that one of my ‘unknown’ posts from a while back was actually by Remko (see below). Most of Remko’s art is stencil work and I have seen this particular character in a few places in Bristol.
The stencil is witty and slightly macabre showing Disney’s Mickey Mouse squished in a mousetrap with the hashtag #mickeydeadmouse. I rather like the use of bold colours in this stencil which makes a change from the more common graded multi-layer stencils we see. Fun and well hidden. More to come from Remko soon.
The first of this year’s Cheltenham Paint Festival pieces is from the tireless John D’oh with this clever Alice in Wonderland reference. As is often the case with John D’oh’s work, this piece is having a bit of a swipe at McDonalds and other corporate fast food outlets and the impact they have on obesity and poor health.
In this scene, a rather plump Alice is being tempted to ‘drink me, eat me, buy one get one free, go large for 30p, free soft drink with every large meal’. Seeing it like this in a Dinseyfication drills home the message rather well. Many more from John D’oh to come from the paint festival.
It would seem that JPS has been visiting Bristol and his home, Weston-super-Mare recently if his Instagram account is anything to go by. On a wall that has been home to a JPS piece for a long time now, this new, and rather fantastic stencil arrived about week or two ago.
The piece features two little boys, one of them pulling a knife out on the other, both encircled in a ‘don’t do it’ sign. The slightly taller boy is gently restraining the one with the knife. This is a poignant anti knife crime piece and conveys the message sensitively.
This is JPS at his absolute best. A strong message conveyed with tenderness and love but not avoiding the hard issue in hand. Using children to depict such foolishness is clever because it helps us to see how stupid violence is and how it looks utterly out of context in these youngsters – shouldn’t it be so for everyone?
Yabadaba doo! John D’oh is having a little bit of fun up at Purdown Battery with these Fred Flintstone and Barbey Rubble stencils. Certainly these make a bit of a change from his more political stuff and a change is as good as a rest as they say.
Two of the stencils in full colour are of Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, while the third is a little bit disturbing depicting a ‘caveman’ body with a Fred Flintstone head carrying a tray of fast food – it messes with my head a little.
I love it that Barney Rubble, the least rebellious person one can think of, is holding a spray can in a kind of victory salute – although I think he has too many fingers for the style of cartoon (a small matter). Great fun pieces, beautifully executed.
John D’oh’s busy summer just keeps on delivering time and time again, and the theme of his work continues to be dominated by coronavirus. This piece is a warning to those who might appear hypocritical having clapped for the NHS and then failing to be careful as restrictions ease.
The warning has already proven to be a sensible one as we are seeing localised increases in infection rates across the UK and beyond. The simple single layer stencil shows Walt Disney’s Dopey enjoying a pint of beer. I am guessing that the Aberdeen football club players are wishing they had heeded such a warning.