One of the classiest pieces in The Bearpit for a little while appeared just over a week ago and took up the entire length of ont of the north side entrance ramp. This stunning piece is a collaboration between Sled One and Epok. As is often the case with work like this, the photographs really don’t do it justice and I would urge Bristolians to get down to The Bearpit to see it for themselves.
There is a strong message here about the damage being done to our oceans by plastics – don’t get me going on this subject, because it vexes me because the torrent of pastic, large and microscopic, will kill off life in our oceans unless urgent action is taken. We sure know how to goof up our planet.
The artwork in this piece is exquisite and incredibly detailed, just take a look at the pectoral fins of the fish above, to see how much work has gone into the colourse ripples and folds of the fins.
Them whole thing is cleverly constructed, combining some abstract elements with life studies, but the whole effect is one of movement and swirling currents.
It would be great to hear from the artists themselves what inspired them to do this piece. It is possible that it was a commission, but by whom I wonder. Next time I see Sled One, I’ll have to ask him.
All in all a great piece and beautiful gift to the people of Bristol. Now, reduce that plastic waste!
I am struggling a little about how to categorize this piece. It is by Sonic Oner, whose official Upfest piece I posted a little while back, but I think that this appeared a few days later, and so I am not classifying it as an Upfest piece, preferring to think of it as an extra gift to Bristol.
Located on a wall outside the Hen and Chicken, the piece is in great company, being next to a Pelmo piece. I love reptile street art, and this Iguana is really rather special. There is a lot of attention to detail in the scales, and the eye is beautifully worked.
I think he probably used the spray paints that he had used for his other piece, since the colour scheme is the same; green, white and black. It was a lovely surprise to find this after the main event of Upfest was over.
OK, so this is one of those pieces that seems to have become quite iconic in the wake of Upfest. Everything about it is contemporary with the mood of the nation and other nations. It is bright and colourful but hides a more sinister discontent behind the hoodie and mask. My interpretation, which might be very wrong, is of resistance and revolution, of clawing back some decency, some freedom.
The piece, by Tysall, is one of the most memorable of the festival, however, I am not familiar with the artist at all. I believe that he is Bristol-based, and have found a rather nice interview with him here.
I think his entry in the Upfest biographies is one of my favourites:
‘Just trying to make my own mark… or mess, I’m still not sure which it is.‘
There is a pretty strong and obvious message in this morbidly humorous piece by El.Viz. Smoking makes you sick. I used to smoke quite a lot, but it was imagery like this that helped me to kick the habit almost twenty years ago now. Good thing too.
El. Viz is an Irish artist working out of Dublin and is a studio artist as well as taking to the streets. I like the following line from his Upfest biography, because it tells you all you might want to know:
‘Heavily influenced by 80s cartoons and punk rock, he blends lowbrow culture with surreal pop art‘
I think that this is a bit of a cheeky Upfest piece from Jee See, a Bristol graffiti artist that I have featured on this blog many times before, and one whose work I particularly like. The suggestion that it is a bit cheeky is because I can’t see his name on the artist list for the festival, and this board was erected outside one of the venues, almost as if it was a bit of a teaser.
I am guessing that there were a few ‘no shows’ for the festival and that spare boards were available for some local artists. This is all based on my own assumptions, and as I was once told, to assume things is to make an ‘ass of u and me‘.
Anyhow, I am pleased that Jee See managed to present his work and combine his trademark seismic writing alongside a beautiful portrait…all so very Jee See.
This is what you get when two mischievous artists collaborate, each with their own inimitable style. When Chinagirl Tile and Angus got together at Upfest this year, they produced this rather special piece which arguably was the most controversial of the festival, causing offence to some.
The raccoons are by Chinagirl Tile and the mosaic hand gesture is by Angus. Unfortunately the piece in its original state didn’t last too long at all before it was ‘redacted’ with some black tape.
Not long after that, the hand was completely replaced by yellow tiles, and the piece has really lost something. I will leave you to judge which version of this you prefer. For my part, this work challenges the ‘sanitised’ art you tend to get at festivals by being provocative and edgy, which is where most street art and graffiti art has its roots. Some really interesting perspectives being played out here.
For the second year running I managed to miss (probably by moments) Aspire at work during Upfest. Actually I have not yet met him, and now that he operates out of London, the chances of that happening are rather remote.
Aspire was allocated one of the really nice walls this year and by the time I got there on the Saturday morning, he was finished and his gear was neatly piled up ready to go. I always know with Aspire that he never fails to delight with his brilliant birds and trademark pixellations.
In this piece he features a rather charming male bullfinch in all his finery.