4141. Upper York Street (27)

Tom Miller has been very busy recently with a few commissions, and of course his lovely collaboration piece with Kin Dose on Nelson Street, that I published yesterday (Christmas Day). This new mural on the wall of the Basement Beer brewery tap room in Upper York Street is an absolute beauty and full of depth and symbolism.

Tom Miller, Upper York Street, Bristol, December 2021
Tom Miller, Upper York Street, Bristol, December 2021

I was lucky enough to catch up with Tom Miller (thank you, Paul, for the tip-off) while he was putting the finishing touches on the piece, and stopped for a wee chat. Tom Miller is one of the gentlest, kindest and most lovely artists I meet doing the rounds, and he is so generous with his time, always willing to talk and discuss his work. During our conversation, I asked him about the painting, and he gave me a few little insights.

Tom Miller, Upper York Street, Bristol, December 2021
Tom Miller, Upper York Street, Bristol, December 2021

The steps that appear on the piece are a direct reference to the steps in the doorway sign ‘basement beer’, which kind of makes sense, but might not be obvious when just glancing at the piece.

Tom Miller, Upper York Street, Bristol, December 2021
Tom Miller, Upper York Street, Bristol, December 2021

There is always so much going on in Tom Miller’s pieces, and he has really delved into the spirit of the venue with some clever mash-ups of people and drinks, creating some rather surreal and colourful characters.

Tom Miller, Upper York Street, Bristol, December 2021
Tom Miller, Upper York Street, Bristol, December 2021

This is an artwork that deserves to be seen and admired, and we are so lucky in Bristol that we get to see so much free art like this. Tom’s canvasses are something special too. Always bright, colourful and frenetic, they display a stream of consciousness captured on canvass or a wall and frozen in that moment. Fabulous work.

4031. City Road (10)

Recently, at the top end of City Road, there has been a whole bunch of new painting going on for the launch of Stoked Food, an ethical food outlet in Stokes Croft. Among the wonderful fresh new pieces is this quirky piece from one of my favourite artists, Maesyhook.

Maesyhook, City Road, Bristol, October 2021
Maesyhook, City Road, Bristol, October 2021

Perhaps better known for her Kawaii style, this is something altogether a little more surreal from Maesyhook. The portrait, in black and white, looking like a giant stencil, is overshadowed by a large cloud with an eye and shedding pink raindrops and fork lightening. The purple heart choker just adds an element of interest. Unusual, quirky and fun.

3880. Upfest 2021 75×75 (42)

Damn, damn, damn those damn parked cars. This is a notoriously difficult wall to photograph, and while Epod was painting this incredible piece, I commented on the fact and said that clean photographs of his work would be something of a rarity. Somebody needs to put in some double yellow lines!

Epod, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21
Epod, North Street, Bristol, June 2021, Upfest 21

I spent a little while chatting with Epod, an artist from London, about the piece and how it reminded me a little of artists like Yvette Tanguy and René Magritte. So I gues what I was saying was that there was an element of dreamlike surrealism and symbolism going on in this piece.

Epod, North Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21
Epod, North Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21

I am so disappointed with these photographs, and short of camping on the street for days, simply don’t know how I will ever get clean shots of what is a truly stunning piece.

Epod, North Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21
Epod, North Street, Bristol, July 2021, Upfest 21

The final photograph at least gives you a feel for the skill and talent that Epod has and the wonderful concept behind this piece. This is one that if you live in Bristol or are visiting the city you will need to see for yourself. A superb mural.

3760. Cumberland Basin

A couple of weeks back there was a very special paint jam organised by the Bristol Womxn Mural Collective on the left-hand side of the long wall at Cumberland Basin, and in all there must have been nine or ten different artists taking part, many of whom I know and many I have not seen before. For most of these artists, painting walls is not their usual thing, so it was great to get a sense of their art and how it translates to the street.

Erviti, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, June 2021
Erviti, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, June 2021

This first piece from the paint jam is by Erviti, an artist I don’t think I have encountered before and who describes herself as a surreal oil painter. I chose this piece to post first, because of the striking subject and wonderful execution of it. The strawberry is beautifully painted and has a very three-dimensional look to it. Rather like Dali’s melting watch, the strawberry is disintegrating into a pool made up of the colours used to paint it. A creative and imaginative piece, and definitely different from the usual fare at this spot. Welcome Erviti.

3539. New Stadium Road (29)

Tom Miller is an artist I have taken a great deal of interest in ever since I first encountered his unusual surreal pieces in Stokes Croft and in The Bearpit back in 2016. At that time he was still studying his craft at the university, but it was clear that he was creating something rather special. Some of his work is captured in this gallery.

Tom Miller, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2021
Tom Miller, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2021

What is most pleasing is that he is now getting a number of commissions and his artwork is appearing on large walls around the city, but he is keeping it real by continuing with his street art work too. This magnificent piece on one of the most prominent walls in Bristol took him a couple of weeks to paint and during that time I stopped to catch up with him.

Tom Miller, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2021
Tom Miller, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2021

Tom is genuinely one of the nicest artists I know, he is so modest and always seems to enjoy a bit of a chat. I have to say that I was concerned for his safety when he was painting this, because it was incredibly windy and the scaffold tower was wobbling much more than would have been comfortable. He survived though and what an amazing job he did.

Tom Miller, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2021
Tom Miller, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2021

This piece, as you would expect, is so full of colour and detail. Some might call it busy, but I would call it expressive. Lots of body parts combined with flowers and other familiar shapes and objects fill the space, and then there is some respite from this crowded scene to the right of the piece with two less frenetic panels.

Tom Miller, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2021
Tom Miller, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2021

The focal point is the face in the middle, and I wonder if it might be a subconscious nod to a piece that stood here for a few years of a large portrait of a girl with a yellow face.

Tom Miller, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2021
Tom Miller, New Stadium Road, Bristol, February 2021

As I said, the two panels on the right offer something different from the rest of the piece, with some landscape and cosmos to calm things down a bot. The far right section reminds me a little bit of the Pink Floyd record sleeve of ‘Dark Side of the Moon. This epic wall is a great addition to Bristol’s iconic street art culture and is one that people leaving the city on the M32 can’t fail to see.

3388. Sevier Street (2)

I made a special effort to photograph this piece as quickly after I saw it because I never got a clean picture of its predecessor by Tom Miller that had been there for a long while on account of the difficulty of parking nearby. Lazy me. As a result, this one from 3Dom was not going to get away from me.

3Dom, Sevier Street, Bristol, December 2020
3Dom, Sevier Street, Bristol, December 2020

Surprises are always good, and this piece from 3Dom was certainly that. No warnings, no Instagram, it was just suddenly there one morning. The piece itself is typically crazy and surreal and has a joyful charm about it. 3Dom has signed it with his Instagram handle which makes me wonder if it was perhaps a commission, or at the very least he would have sought permission to do it. I think it is an expression of weather and space, with elements such as clouds, a rainbow, the sun combined with stars (see Orion’s belt?) a galaxy and a rocket. Nicely painted and bright and colourful. Thank you 3Dom.

3169. Upper Sandhurst Road

One of the few pleasures of being the family taxi driver is that I get to visit various parts of Bristol that might not ordinarily be on my normal routes. I stumbled across this old garage piece by 3Dom when dropping my son off at a friend’s house recently.

3Dom, Upper Sandhurst Road, Bristol, August 2020
3Dom, Upper Sandhurst Road, Bristol, August 2020

Although probably several years old, the surreal piece is in reasonably good shape. There is a lot going on here, and the story is far from clear so I’ll not try to second guess it, but rather leave it to your imagination. It felt great to find this hidden gem.

3074. Cowmead Walk (2)

One of the nicest walls in Bristol has just had a makeover. The whole wall in Cowmead Walk in St Werburghs is quite awkward to photograph, so I have split the collaboration by 3Dom, Sepr and Feek into three separate posts of which this is the first. Painted in deep rich colours, this 3Dom piece is truly outstanding.

3Dom, Cowmead Walk, Bristol, July 2020
3Dom, Cowmead Walk, Bristol, July 2020

3Dom’s character is perched on the edge of a hamster wheel in the corner of a room with some strange pink and green plants growing up from the carpet and a Swiss cheese plant thrown in for good measure. The character is, in 3dom style, a composition of shapes and forms assembled in a surreal way into ‘human’ form. Typically the character’s legs are clad with stripey trousers. The tubes coming out of the cube head have a smiley and a sad face on them, although I’m not sure what this is depicting. There is so much detail in here that you could spend a long time looking at it – feel free to go right ahead. Such quality.

2886. Surrey Street (1)

I have always intended to post this huge piece on the wall of a garage in Surrey Street by Tom Miller, but just never got round to it. Cometh the moment, cometh the man. This early piece (2016) is typical of the explosion of ideas that comes from this creative dynamo and his colourful style.

Tom Miller, Surrey Street, Bristol, October 2016
Tom Miller, Surrey Street, Bristol, October 2016

There is no point in tryig to fathom out a story here, because although there almost certainly is one, it could take a lifetime to work out. All sorts of body parts and possibly an environmental theme are represented here in this surreal piece.

Tom Miller, Surrey Street, Bristol, October 2016
Tom Miller, Surrey Street, Bristol, October 2016

At the time, I don’t recall there being much of a fuss about this piece, and I think it remained under the radar for quite a long time. Alas it has now gone.

2846. Brook Hill (1)

At last I have found it and better late than never. Thanks to the lock down restrictions, my driving to street art spots has been replaced by my walking the dog/exercise walks and when you are on foot so many more possibilities are open to you. It is easy to nip down this lane or trundle over to that place without worrying about parking, one way streets etc etc.

I have been aware of this piece by 3Dom for a couple of years now, and without realising it have been agonisingly close to it without ever finding it, that is until last week. I could scarcely hold back my exclamation of joy and sense of relief that it is still in great condition.

3Dom, Brook Hill, Bristol, March 2020
3Dom, Brook Hill, Bristol, March 2020

The work itself has an aesthetically pleasing symmetry to it and although there is nothing specifically 3Domish about it, it is instantly recognisable as one of his pieces. My life is now complete (well that might be a bit of an exaggeration but I do feel a tremendous sense of relief).

The strangest thing about walking in Bristol at the moment is the curious juxtaposition of avoiding other people, by walking out into the road or crossing it altogether, and yet saying hello to them by way of an apology for having to avoid them in the first place. These are indeed curious times.