You get to meet an awful lot of colourful characters at Upfest, both participating artist as well as other visitors. One of my favourite people to meet is Octofly, a wonderful character artist from Italy. Octofly is always up for a chat and has an infectious cheerful disposition.
This is a witty piece featuring a dinosaur sipping on a cup of tea, entitled Tea Rex. To be witty is one thing, to be witty in a foreign language is next level. The whole piece on a rather slender board is delightfully well composed and sharp as anything. A really great piece from Octofly.
This is another offering from the Dean Lane Hardcore (DLH) event a couple of weeks ago, and is an unusual collaboration between T-Rex, Ryder, Conrico and Kool Hand, which makes the whole thing rather special. Entitled ‘All skaters are b*stards’, the collaboration is clearly poking a bit of fun at skaters, at what is at its heart a skating event.
T-Rex that’s us to one of her classic dinosaurs, with a flying pig in a frying pan overhead by Ryder. Conrico has reproduced one of his classic Bugs Bunny pieces with the inclusion of a skate board (see below), and the collaboration is hounded off with a Kool Hand Orangutan. The whole piece is a bit of an eclectic gathering, but utterly appropriate for the event. Great to see.
This is another gorgeous T-Rex piece painted as part of the recent renewal of the high hoardings in Elton Street on the outside wall of the Lost Horizons Arts Centre. T-Rex as always, has produced a very classy dinosaur on a very classy background.
Of course, the dinosaur is full of mischief, running off with a stick of dynamite in its hand – I’m not sure what the story is here other than to highlight the naughty character. The pink Tyrannosaurus Rex, which is cleverly positioned in the frame by looking backwards, has all the hallmarks of the artist… strong and solid fill and clean solid outlines. In this particular piece, the background deserves a special mention, providing a forest canopy kind of habitat. Great to see.
One of the most distinctive characters painted at spots all over Bristol is a cartoon-style T-Rex, by T-Rex. Her work is light-hearted and fun, but always beautifully presented.
This one appeared in St Werburghs tunnel shortly before I went on holiday, and I am pleased to be able to post it now. The delightful scene features a rather angry looking T-Rex chasing an innocent butterfly through some grass clumps and flowers. T-Rex doesn’t get out as much as she used to, parental duties and all that, but she certainly surprises us from time to time.
Every year there is a special paint jam that takes place outside the Dare To club in St Philips. I haven’t yet managed to get to one of these paint jams, which is a pity, but it is hard to be everywhere always. This year’s session seems to have been largely confined to a couple of walls and fences in Alfred Street, rather than on the Dare To building itself.
This post features a rather unlikely collaborative wall shared by Emotional Waterfall Art and T-Rex. I first encountered Emotional Waterfall Art’s work earlier in the year with her massive Upfest mural. What a contrast this is to that, a small and beautifully colourful ball or globe – the Earth maybe? The message – More Love.
Next to the globe is a rather sweet looking Tyrannosaurus Rex surrounded by ‘butterfly’ hearts and the tag line ‘Nuff Love’. I imagine T-Rex must be able to paint these dinosaurs in her sleep, she has done so many of them, but they all have their own special personality. An interesting combination.
On environmental grounds I am not totally on-board with the trend of spray painting onto cling film suspended between two posts. The effect is a good one and it does create ‘walls’ where none exist, but the plastic waste and disposability doesn’t work for me. I have to be careful though, because spray paint isn’t particularly environmentally friendly and I could end up tying myself in knots.
All of that said, I do like the creativity of these mega-tag pieces by Ryder and T-Rex. These tags can be found all over Bristol, but these ones are temporary and ephemeral, and not in any danger of being over-painted. The ‘R’ character is by Ryder and the dinosaur head by T-Rex and the two fuse in the form of a true collaboration.
The second piece is by Ryder and typical of his ‘R’ tags. I don’t know if it is more difficult to paint onto cling film, but I expect it is not as forgiving of mistakes, but then again these artists don’t make many of those. An interesting addition to the array of street art possibilities.
I think that the paint was probably still drying when I saw this lovely collaboration from Ryder and T-Rex under Brunel Way. And what a fun piece it is, with a taste of the Wild West about it. Ryder posted a little cartoon of it on his Instagram feed, which is great.
To the right of the piece we have a Tyrannosaurus rex 🦖 pulling a cart, so full of movement, and mischief. I expect that T-Rex could paint these characters in her sleep. I love the western touch of a red neckerchief round the dinosaur’s neck.
Being pulled by the T-Rex is a RAW ‘band wagon’ with a Ryder googly-eyed letter R playing an instrument. What madness is this? The whole thing is a bit of a riot and the collaboration a memorable one. Great to see that both of them are able to get out and paint together.
Being in the right place at the right time is a big part of photographing street/graffiti art. Mostly you get to see a finished piece as a fait accompli, admire/critique it, photograph it and then be on your merry way. Sometimes though you get lucky and catch the artist(s) at work and I did just that as Ryder and T-Rex were just finishing off this curved wall piece at Dean Lane.
Both were in great form and thrilled to be able to paint together while their little one was having a sleep. Opportunities to paint together have been few and far between in recent months, so this was a treat. Ryder has painted a wibbly green piece with reference to James Bond, with the words ‘007 shaken not stirred’.
I spent quite a while chatting (socially-distanced of course) with T-Rex, which was fun, as I have only spoken briefly with her before. Here she painted an outstanding example of her trademark dinosaur in pink – she must be able to do these in her sleep. She let me into a little secret, that she struggles to write the letter ‘J’ and that Ryder helped her with the ‘J’ in Jack – we had been talking about the J in Scooj, which prompted the confession. Best of all I got to see the little one when she woke up. A happy family outing.
I have expressed before how much I like this wall. Protected from the rain, it is a wall that can change at almost any time without warning. Sometimes you need to be patient to photograph it because this is a DIY skate park and it can get quite busy, but there are often some really nice pieces here, including this one from T-Rex, so it is worth waiting.
Spelling out T-REX, this is an extraordinarily colourful and happy piece, with each letter having at least two fill colours and patterns expertly and cleanly executed. I have a feeling it is dedicated to Ryder – perhaps a birthday or anniversary or something like that. This is great graffiti writing.
It is so good to see T-Rex gaining such a prominent spot for one of her fabulous dinosaurs. This is the third archway, looking from left to right, in this magnificent back-street gallery offered up by the developers of a hotel that is being built right in the heart of Bristol’s old quarter. The developers have their work cut out, because the buildings they are converting are probably the ugliest in the whole city.
I was told by John Nation that T-Rex’s piece is not one of her regular dinosaurs (unsurprisingly a tyrannosaurus rex) but a depiction of one of the dinosaurs displayed up at the Bristol Museum (so well worth a visit if you ever get the opportunity). This is a beautifully painted, clean and happy piece with very broad appeal. Perfect for a city centre location.