I believe that these arches at The Carriageworks are on borrowed time, as the developers of the site have plans to build retail outlets as part of the overall redevelopment of the site, so let’s make hay while the sun shines. Two of Bristol’s most recognised street artists, Sled One and 3Dom, have paired up to give these two arches a bit of a makeover.
On the left is yet another spellbinding piece from Sled One, featuring a skull-like character in a red hat next to a pond with a rather arrogant-looking duck swimming about. Sled One has created this surreal scene with such extraordinary detail and clarity. For me there is something of a retro feel about the piece, perhaps it is the colours or the overall way the elements in the water and foliage around the pond are presented, but it looks like it could be a poster from the 1950s with a surreal 2020s twist.
On the right hand arch 3Dom has painted an incredible dreamy piece where the main character, unlike anything we know or understand, is curled around the shape of the archway space. There is something most endearing about this smiley faced, reptile-humanoid creature, but look a little closer and there is something a little intriguing too. A love arrow runs through the character, although I’m not entirely sure what it signifies. I get a feeling that much of 3Dom’s work is about cherishing our beautiful Earth and a warning about its decline and losses in the natural world, he tells these stories through his ‘otherworldly’ characters almost as if warning us about the perils ahead. Of course they might simply be beautiful images without any hidden meaning, but I doubt it.
I am clinging to every minute that the Carriageworks continues to be a street art spot. This iconic site on the Cheltenham Road has been redeveloped, but the arches of the original Carriageworks have been retained. Before the site was developed, the arches became a fabulous canvass for artists in Bristol and beyond. Two or three years under scaffolding, it seemed like we’d never see the wall again, but recently the scaffolding was removed and the wall returned to artists. I don’t know how long it will be before anti-graffiti paint and CCTV appear, but let’s make hay while the sun shines.
3Dom is known for his amazing ‘other world’ type pieces where his imaginative characters exist in unusual or surreal settings. This magnificent piece is clearly a reference to the terrible war in Ukraine, but is rather more subtle in its messaging than some anti-war pieces.
The creativity of 3Dom and his astonishing touch has produced one of the finest pieces in Bristol this year, in one of the finest spots. Long live 3Dom and long live peace.
You might have noticed my recent joy that the arches on the facade of The Carriageworks have been exposed and almost immediately painted by the PWA crew. Although the joy might be short-lived, it is genuine and complete and these photographs capture some of that feeling for me.
To the left is a fabulous mash-up from Soap and Face 1st. All the elements that you would expect from a collaboration between these two are there, and it is great to see their work back where it belongs. These two young women were loving it too, and spent ages taking pictures of each other on the magnificent backdrop. They were not the only ones to stop and photograph the arches in the few minutes I spent there.
To the right (the second of the fur arches), Nightwayss and Chill, who seems to have been recruited into the PWA fold, have collaborated to create a fabulous and slightly eclectic scene. The self-portrait and small mammal, some kind of primate I am guessing, are by Nightwayss along with the writing at the top spelling ‘NIGHT’. The two-tone cartoon character is by Chill, a tattooist, who really seems to be enjoying painting walls at the moment. Great art, great location, great artists… what more could you ask for?
I cannot begin to explain how much joy this collaboration, on two of the arches (part of a larger four arch spread) on the front of The Carriageworks, gives me. This once popular spot was fenced off for development in 2018, and I feared that we would never see any street art on these arches again. Two weeks ago, the covers came off the building site and the facade of this building has been retained along with the four arches, and it took the Pirate Wall Art (PWA) crew no time at all to repossess these ‘canvasses’.
On the left is a three way mash up with Face 1st at the top, Soap on the right and possible new recruit into the crew, Chill. Everything about this is very PWA and how appropriate it is that they should be the first to recolonise this spot. I wonder how long it will be before anti-graffiti paint is applied by some killjoy who understands nothing about the area. We will wait and see, but in the meantime we can enjoy stuff like this.
On the right hand arch is a classic Soap/Face1st mash up piece, the likes of which often made an appearance on this very wall in years gone by. This is a fabulous nod to those great times and maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to enjoy plenty more in the future. I’ll be posting the other two arches soon.
This is something of an iconic piece at The Carriageworks by DNT and Hoax, and possibly other collaborators. The wall can be dated as pre-2019 because it has been behind protective scaffolding due to the development of the site for a long time now.
The figure is by DNT and he has produced something similar since in Hepburn Road. I think that the beautiful patchwork background is by Hoax or maybe Sheva or maybe the whole thing is by DNT. This uncertainty might be the reason I never published these pictures before.
I think it is a beautiful piece and in some way really represents this area well. It is a great pity that this wonderful wall has been lost to street artists, but I guess it has ever been thus.
MGB stands for Matchbox Gallery, a little gallery shop that DNT used to run in Stokes Croft.
You can tell this one is from the archives, not just from the date on the caption, but because it is on the wall of the Carriageworks, which for the last several months has been behind fences and screens while the building is being demolished and reconstructed for ‘affordable’ housing.
It is a quick one by Nevla, I think the last of his that I have from a while ago. It is a nice simple cartoon character, and from the look of it he was running low on paint. Nevla’s work always has a light-hearted touch, which is refreshing really against a landscape of bile and hatred that exists in the UK at the moment.
I have been posting about the work of Face 1st for a long time now, and he really is one of my favourite artists in Bristol. His simple formula of combining the word FACE with a face incorporated never ceases to impress me. I have also noticed that he has started to become active on Instagram, which will help me to keep on top of his work and maybe find out a little bit more about him.
This piece on the Carriageworks in Stokes Croft is from a little while ago, but is one of the last few to be sprayed on this building which is now fenced off as the long awaited (decades) development work on the site has begun. The site was a bit grotty, but part of the character of the area will be lost forever once the graffiti and street art are no longer incorporated. Gentrification is gaining pace in the area.
Since I started wrioting posts about Face 1st, I have been calling him Face F1st…uit is a difficult thing to do once you have a habit, but I will from no on refer to him as Face 1st (which will bugger up my archive searches a little but there you go).
You can’t turn your back for one minute in Stokes Croft. If you do, you run the risk of missing out on a clean piece of artwork. This wonderful surreal piece by Tom Miller had only been up a day or two before being tagged over. I find it strange that the perpetraters respected the work enough to tag the black surround, but left the central part largely untouched. Either respect the piece or don’t, but this faux politeness is a joke.
Once again Tom Miller challenges our conventional world with a burst of colour and a figure whose head appears to be exploding off its body. I think that Miller has an unbelievable talent and extraordinary imagination. Best of all, I like it that he uses the streets as a gallery so that Bristol citizens have free access to his talents.
Although his subject matter might not be to everyone’s taste, it is clear that we are witnessing the emergence and development of a very special talent.
I love this piece which has remained intact and unspoiled for such a very long time in Stokes Croft. It is beautifully well proportioned and the shading is first class – it is a crisp and fresh piece of writing that stands out from the mess around it. The artist is Sofly
On trying to find out a bit more about Sofly, I managed to find her website. It turns out Sophy Robson is a nail artist from London who appears to be at the top of her game, and as a sideline she runs graffiti workshops. How brilliant is that? I know she has visited Bristol on a few occasions, and I have another of her pieces from Dean Lane somewhere in my archives. I love this a lot.
This old one in Stokes Croft is by DNT, most of whose street work ends up in this immediate vacinity. I particularly like this image, because of all the other bits of graffiti around it. It says something about this spot.
Just to the left is a brilliant wheatpaste of Jodie Foster by french artist Tian, and to the right (cut off) is a piece by Mr Klue and Akarat. I love this tank, so full of movement and smoking guns/spray cans, however I’m not too sure who the piece is about – it might well be a tribute piece to Buzz. This has been tucked away on my archive way too long.