My life is no less busy this week and I am covering for two of my colleagues (in a team of four) who are on their holidays, so I’m afraid this will probably be a bit rushed, before I start a long day at work.
Porto is a gift that just keeps on giving. There is so much to see and do and marvel at, not least the churches of the city. Although the idea of tiling the façade of buildings was imported from Seville, it is definitely one of the USPs of Porto, and this can be evidenced through the stunning tile decorations in blue and white on many of the churches.
So this week we have a small selection of doors from Porto churches, but if I am honest it is the tiles that are the star of the show. I hope you enjoy them.
These churches are just another reason to visit this wonderful, vibrant city. That’s it for another week. I might be taking a bit of a break from Thursday doors over the next two or three weeks, but will have plenty more to share with you after that. May I wish you a happy weekend ahead.
If you have made it this far, you probably like doors, and you really ought to take a look at the No Facilities blog by Dan Anton who has taken over the hosting of Thursday Doors from Norm 2.0 blog. Links to more doorscursions can be found in the comments section of Dan Anton’s Thursday Doors post.
My Dog Sighs, a hugely popular and talented artist from Portsmouth was extremely busy at the Cheltenham Paint Festival last September. His main project, painting a small lorry (yet to be posted) was accompanied by a number of smaller pieces dotted around town. This ceramic tile was one of those ‘extras’.
The little everyman character was hiding near the entrance to a car park. The shattered and fragmented tile has the word ‘broken’ across the top and everyman is looking a bit sad. This is an imaginative piece and characterises the influx of art that festivals bring in addition to the sanctioned and legitimate works.
Consistently creative, hugely talented and generally just brilliant, Chinagirl Tile keeps on turning out the most incredible ceramic installation pieces time and time again. This clever combination piece for the Cheltenham Paint Festival 2019 features a ceramic tile girl spray painting a child-like horse with blue spots. I was lucky enough to catch up with Chinagirl Tile when she was putting this piece together – it was all a little tense as she was running low on the bonding material for glueing the tiles to the wall. While we chatted I managed to sneak a picture of her plan for the piece, and I have to say it all turned out pretty much as she had imagined it.
I think that Chinagirl Tile is unique amongst street artists in that I don’t know of any others who make such elaborate and artistic original tiles of this type. There are many installation artists, but none who do anything like this.
The girl is made up of about fifteen or more separate tiles, each perfectly crafted, glazed and fired and pieced together seamlessly. It is a painstaking process but one that yeilds such fabulous results. And… you’ve got to love that monkey on her shoulder.
At festivals, Chinagirl Tile consistently remains one of my favourite artists and any town anywhere in the world would be uplifted by one of her beautiful tile installations. The best part is that they tend to remain intact for several years, for people to enjoy.
Anyone who knows a little bit about street art might recognise this wonderful mosaic piece in Lambeth, London as the work of the French artist Space Invader. Finding this piece a couple of weeks ago was absolutely accidental. I was walking from Westminster to Lambeth with my manager for an early Christmas lunch and informal team meeting. On the walk we were chatting and I was talking about street art (inevitably) and how you can stumble across pieces just by keeping your eyes open. I had barely finished the point when we looked left, and there down Lambeth High Street was this magnificent beast. She was really chuffed that we had found something and seemed impressed that I knew who the artist was and other stuff. I had no idea that there was anything here, and had also been saying that the area looked a bit barren in street art terms.
I believe that this is quite an old piece dating back to 2013, but it is on a road I have never been to before and being in London it was utterly off my radar. I must say that I got a pretty warm glow finding it, especially as I haven’t seen all that many Space Invader pieces. I think that this is a Pac Man piece made with large tiles and you can see the scale from the bricks just to the right. A gratifying find.
Whether it is a large piece or a small one, Chinagirl Tile never ceases to amaze with her imaginative and often slightly subversive ceramic tiles. I think this must be one of my favourites and I loved it from the first second I saw it. Created for the Cheltenham Paint Festival 2018 this striking dinosaur piece takes centre stage in one of the town’s car parks.
The dinosaur is enormous and one of the larger pieces I have seen by Chinagirl Tile. It is genuinely a fabulous work of art and Cheltenham are lucky to have it as a piece of public artwork. I cannot imagine how long this might have taken Chinagirl to design, fashion, glaze and fire, let alone bringing it over here from Austria where she is based, but it was definitely worth it.
An additional part of the overall piece is a ceramic listing of ‘rules for girls who want to become street artists’ with the words ‘BRING A DINOSAUR’ written over the top of it. Skill, charm, wit, placement, patience, dedication… this piece has it all. Bravo.
With collaborations in Bristol, there are few that are finer than those between Gemma Compton and Copyright. This particular mural is a triumph, and for me, what makes it really special is the backdrop of blue and white tiles. This is a gorgeous piece, and is at great odds with the busy road and traffic adjacent to it. An oasis of calm.
The central stencil of a girl with butterfly wings is by Copyright and provides a focal point in the centre of the piece with the warm colours contrasting with the blue and white surrounds.
I think that Gemma Compton may have done the girls wings, and certainly the other blue and white butterflies that adorn the mural.
As for the blue and white tiles, I am not too sure who did these, but I have seen tiles feature a lot in Gemma’s work before. I suspect they both worked on these. The overall effect is stunning, and I hope that we see more of these collaborations in 2018.
Angus was a very busy fellow at Upfest last year. Not only did he create this magnificent mosaic, but he also found time to collaborate with Chinagirl Tile and also lay down several other mosaics dotted about the place. Added to all of that business, he still had time to schmooze and chat with visitors over the two days.
This piece will be familiar to anyone who has played Street Fighter – I do not count myself amongst this happy crew – specifically it is move called ‘hadouken’…now go and consider yourself educated. Writing about street art really does take you on many new discoveries, tapping into the popular culture that influences the artists.
Moon Street has an ecclectic hotchpotch of tags, throw ups, stencils, tiles, paste ups and pieces, which is probably why I like it so much. Sometimes you have to look quite hard for things and this is a good example of that. This tile by RIP is secured quite high up on a wall, and could be easily missed.
The tile is of a stencil piece of a woman’s face looking like she is from the 1920s or 1930s. Unfortunately there is a bit of light reflection on the tile, but it is a fun piece nonetheless. I think the tile went up around the time of Upfest, when RIP was in town.
I love surprises, and this was one hell of a surprise. I took a lunchtime stroll down North Street, because I knew there were some new pieces, but only caught sight of this one on my way back. What a find.
Of course, it is a bunny with a grenade by the amazing Chinagirl Tile – I have always wanted to find one of these, but to have one in Bristol is simply amazing. The new piece is only a street away from the amazing foxes and soup tin she installed for Upfest 2016.
Chinagirl Tile is always a very welcome visitor to Bristol, and I hope very much she will be returning soon. Let’s hear it for the wabbits.
I am a huge fan of China Girl Tile, and was so excited to hear that she would be at Upfest 2016. I had seen lots of her work on social media, but nothing in the flesh, so it was a real treat not only to see her at work, but to be able to say hello and stop for a quick chat.
I caught up with China Girl Tile while she was finishing off her work in the drizzle on the second day of the festival. The wall she was working on is in the back yard of the Hen and Chicken and in really great company (Fake, Cosmo Sarson…and others).
I am glad she chose foxes for this installation, because as many of you may know Bristol is famous for its urban foxes. In fact some research a few years ago showed that the most densely populated group of foxes on record were in and around my allotment. Their numbers fell due to mange and the introduction of wheelie bins with strong lids. I digress. I love foxes.
Her reference to the Campbells soup tin is not only witty but is incorporated so very well into the unfolding story.
Her work is unusual and refreshing and executed with such skill and dedication. The tiles are really beautiful and enchanting. Please can we get more China Girl Tile work in Bristol.