The great thing about visiting areas of Bristol one doesn’t normally go to is that you open your eyes to a whole new culture and architectural environment. So when visiting Totterdown to photograph the new Banksy recently, I was exposed to quite a few pieces and murals that I had been aware of but had never seen. One row of houses in particular caught the eye due to the very large murals on their garden-facing walls, which could be viewed from the road below. The row of houses is on St Luke’s Road.
The artist of this mural (along with several others) is Gage Graphics aka Ollie Gillard and who writes graffiti under the name Serif. This is an outstanding mural that shows a section cut through the ground, exposing different rock strata that lead up to the root system of a tree. The tree is bending in an autumn breeze and fits perfectly between two windows. All the while a milky daytime full moon looks on. What a wonderful thing to have on your house, and a fabulous gift for the citizens of the area to enjoy.
We decorated our Christmas tree today. This may be our last real tree. Each year it gets more difficult to justify. However, the demand for trees at the very least promotes the growing of trees (until they are cut down) and a small amount of carbon sequestration.
The Matchbox Gallery is a small shop in Stokes Croft that is run by DNT and hosts occasional exhibitions, although I’ve never quite made it into the shop to see one. If you plotted DNT’s street art on a map, the Matchbox Gallery would be at the centre and concentric circles or art density would radiate outwards from it. This collaboration above the Matchbox Gallery with Hazard would be the pin on the map.
The two artists have created what I would call a true collaboration where their work is woven together and a shared style dominates. The mural depicts a tree and foliage which is emblazoned above the shopfront and a littlwe on the side too. I rather like the face in the window of the shop too. I believe there are plans afoot to move the Matchbox Gallery, but am not certain. Great mural for this part of Stokes Croft.
Many years ago I recorded a Supertramp concert from the the TV, using a cassette recorder and microphone pointed at the TV speaker…it was how we did things in those days. My brother was having a small party of teenage friends on the same evening, so my recording was polluted with the sounds of a party going on in the background. When I played the recording back, I heard one of my brother’s friends exclaim ‘wow wee!’ at the start of one of the songs (he obviously liked it), and to this day, I can still hear that boy’s voice in my head, and do so every time I say wow wee. This digression is relevant only in that when I saw this brilliant piece by Peter Sheridan at last year’s Upfest, the voice in my head said ‘wow wee!’.
This was absolutely one of my firm favourites from the festival. There is so much to like… the composition, the colours, the perspective and the brilliant execution. Even the observation of how the bark on this particular type of tree looks (similar to a silver birch or cherry bark). An absolute belter, and for comparison, I have included his unflattering but brilliant piece depicting Teresa May (boo) and Pokeman Go in 2016.
In the chaotic and utterly unpredictable world of street art and graffiti, order has been created in the form of festivals. Upfest, the largest of its kind in Europe, brings artists from all over Britain, Europe and beyond to showcase their skills. The order I refer to is that rather than accidentally finding stuff, you can be certain to find artists that you like and actively seek them out.
Stelle Confuse is an artist whose work stands out for me from last year, and I was thrilled to see another piece this year. Again we have a tree and a message, and the message ‘plant a tree, plant emotions’ is brilliantly conceived with emoticons being borne by the branches. A nice, clear and well executed stencil from this Florentine artist.