3845. Gloucester Road

I ran past this piece from Kosc this morning, and in a curious way I felt rather proud that I live in a city where public art is embraced, albeit sometimes reluctantly embraced. When the artwork is as good as this, then surely a painted hoarding is better than a bare/tagged piece of construction infrastructure.

Kosc, Gloucester Road, Bristol, July 2021
Kosc, Gloucester Road, Bristol, July 2021

The most obvious thing about the piece is the striking contrast between the scarlet background and the grey-scale character and writing. The background is more than a simple backwash, it has been overprinted with a roller with the letters KOSC on it, giving a texture to the background.

The character and writing are absolutely exceptional. The lady in the photograph? Well it seems that she was selected by Kosc from a gallery of pictures on Instagram by @pit_lad, who was more than happy to have it used for this outstanding piece. Kosc is going from strength to strength.

3844. Purdown HAA Battery (30)

What we have here is a fabulous panoramic, segmented take-over by PWA artists Face 1st, Soap and Nightwayss up at Purdown Battery. I’m not sure that I have seen a themed section of walls up here before and the overall impact is stunning.

Face 1st, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2021
Face 1st, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2021

The first panel is by Face 1st and contains a boy and a girl holding gems. This is remarkable in one major aspect, I don’t think I have ever seen Face 1st paint a smiling boy before – it is a rare thing indeed.

Soap, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2021
Soap, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2021

The middle panel, set back, is rather more traditional fare from Soap, who is really going large on his gems at the moment. I really do need to fins out what they are all about, because their inclusion in his pieces is becoming almost obsessive.

Nightwayss, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2021
Nightwayss, Purdown Battery, Bristol, July 2021

The triptych is rounded off nicely with a ferocious piece from Nightwayss, in which a nightmarish monkey (what else?) is using a spray can. Some of his pieces are turning a little passive/aggressive at the moment and becoming a little more edgy – I am not complaining mind, graffiti art is edgy by definition.

All in all a wonderful theatrical collaboration from the PWA boys.

3843. Upfest 2021 75×75 (29)

‘It’s okay not to be okay’ is a very contemporary message from Sprite for this year’s Upfest initiative. I think that it can only be a good thing when mental health messages are amplified through street art as it demonstrates that real progress is being made in this ‘Cinderella’ branch of medical healthcare.

Sprite, Stanley Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21
Sprite, Stanley Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21

The pink rabbit is a really rather lovely stencil by the Brighton-based artist whose intention is to make people smile and I think she has certainly succeeded with this piece. Her work is very scalable and perfect for bombing a town or city with great messages. It would be good to see more of her work in Bristol.

3842. Dean Lane skate park (421)

Brace yourself for a flurry of Sake pieces. Sake is an old-school artist who has been painting since the 1980s in Bristol, but I haven’t ever posted any of his work. I don’t know why – maybe it is because I have never met him before, that is until last week, when I caught up with him twice in St Werburghs tunnel. I told him that I would look through my archives and see if I had any older stuff of his that I could share. He was  very pleased to hear this, and is keen to stop for a drink soon to talk about street art – I just need to find some time.

Sake, Dean Lane, Bristol, July 2021
Sake, Dean Lane, Bristol, July 2021

This piece is on the curved wall at Dean Lane and is a repair to a similar piece he painted on this exact wall a few weeks ago and which got badly tagged. I think I have pictures of that original. Alongside his letters ‘SAKE’ is a Vaughn Bodē lizard, which is a favourite character for graffiti artists along with Cheech Wizard. I think this is a theme that I’ll need to investigate further before writing too much about it now, but will return to in future. A very nice wall painted by a decent, if slightly intense, artist.

3841. Greenbank (13)

Although it isn’t something that should be too much remarked upon or even overthought, there is a really large contingent of female street artists in Bristol, which probably goes against the stereotype of being the province of young male delinquents (a stereotype that is so misinformed I might add). One of the regular ladies wot paint is Billy, whose colourful murals never disappoint.

Billy, Greenbank, Bristol, July 2021
Billy, Greenbank, Bristol, July 2021

This one on the long wall at Greenbank is particularly beautiful and calming. The message is simple and positive, ‘a nice flower in the park’ and the bold shapes and design a pleasant antidote to wildstyle writing or photorealism. This naive style of street art is equally valid and often very powerful in its simplicity and voice. Lovely work from Billy, once again.

3840. Upfest 2021 75×75 (28)

There is real craft and ability in the work of Emily Joy Rich, and her training and work as a graphic designer certainly come to the fore when you see her work. Her letters are so clean, tidy and sharp and her designer’s eye uses the space beautifully. I have only seen a handful of her pieces and like each one of them, she seems to be, in a way, upholding the art and craft of the sign-writer.

Emily Joy Rich, The Tabacco Factory, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21
Emily Joy Rich, The Tabacco Factory, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21

‘You are not alone’ reminds me of the Close Encounters tag line ‘We are not alone’ but the two have very different connotations. The hashtag #youarenotaloneart, seems to be a ‘thing’ and checking it out on Instagram highlights some beautifully written murals from across the world. This one is a corker from Emily Joy Rich and I particularly like the two-tone grey shading on the word ‘Alone’, which gives it loads of perspective and lifts the word out from the wall. Highly accomplished work and another triumph for Upfest 75×75.

Skor85

A gallery of superb character pieces from Bristol artist Skor85

All photographs by Scooj

Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, August 2020
Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, August 2020

Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020
Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020

Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020
Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020

Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020
Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020

Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020
Skor85, Brunel Way, Bristol, June 2020

Skor85, The Bearpit, Bristol, January 2019
Skor85, The Bearpit, Bristol, January 2019

Skor85, The Bearpit, Bristol, April 2018
Skor85, The Bearpit, Bristol, April 2018

Skor85, The Bearpit, Bristol, February 2018
Skor85, The Bearpit, Bristol, February 2018

Skor85, Leonard Lane, Bristol, January 2018
Skor85, Leonard Lane, Bristol, January 2018

Skor85, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Skor85, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

Skor85, Moon Street, Bristol, January 2017
Skor85, Moon Street, Bristol, January 2017

Skor85, Dean Lane, Bristol, July 2016
Skor85, Dean Lane, Bristol, July 2016

Skor85, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2017
Skor85, Dean Lane, Bristol, June 2017

Skor85, The Bearpit, Bristol, March 2017
Skor85, The Bearpit, Bristol, March 2017

Skor85, The Bearpit, Bristol, January 2017
Skor85, The Bearpit, Bristol, January 2017

3839. Muriel Alleyway (6)

I have lost count of the total number of new artists I have written about this year, but it is dozens, and each and every one of them brings something new and exciting to the city of Bristol. This superb piece, looking great in the sunshine, is by Tanith Gould, who painted it alongside a piece in the same colour scheme by Yoliws a few weeks ago.

Tanith Gould, Muriel Alleyway, Bristol, July 2021
Tanith Gould, Muriel Alleyway, Bristol, July 2021

I don’t know much about Tanith Gould, but have done a little digging and have found out that she is a fine artist from Falmouth (a town close to my heart) who works in paint, film and photography… well she can now add murals to her list with this beautiful piece. Hands are always tricky to carry off in street art, and many artists really struggle with them, but Tanith Gould has pulled it off with aplomb here. There is a lot of symbolism going on in the piece with fungus and fish cupped in the palms of the hands. I don’t know what it all means, but there is surely a story to tell here. I hope that Tanith Gould makes a speedy return to the city to show off more of her great work.

3838. Upfest 2021 75×75 (27)

When the murals for Upfest’s 75 walls in 75 days event are coming thick and fast, it is easy perhaps to not pay attention properly or to become a little blazé because of the wealth of riches. A piece like this on any high-street would be greeted with amazement, but here in Bedminster (the centre of Upfest activities) it blends in, becoming part of the furniture. It is my job to single out such pieces and study them and share them. This large mural is by Sophie Rae above Flip, a vegan delicatessen and shop on North Street.

Sophie Rae, North Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21,
Sophie Rae, North Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21,

Sophie Rae is a Mural artist and print maker based in Bristol who likes to work with natural plant themes interwoven with contemporary shapes, colours and designs to bring a very 2020s look to her murals. The job she has done on this very large wall is quite exceptional and really captures the vibrant Bedminster scene. I will definitely be hunting down some of her other murals.

3837. St Werburghs tunnel (250)

Here we have another outstanding piece from that man Sepr painted as part of the funday Sunday paint jam in the tunnel a couple of weekends ago. There are so many memorable pieces from this event that it would take me a long while to get them all written up. I have selected a few, and the rest will have to wait for a while or longer.

Sepr, St Werburghs, Bristol, July 2021
Sepr, St Werburghs, Bristol, July 2021

Sepr has really smashed it with this amusing piece in which a king character is preparing to sit down on a throne, and a little mouse is either being a loyal subject and placing the chair under the king, or is being mischievous and removing said chair. I wonder if the golden character is a reference to Goldie who had made the journey to Bristol to join in with the paint jam. A fun piece.