4595. Upfest 2022 (35)

I am a huge admirer of Johnman’s incredible pieces, and although I have only seen a handful of them, each one is an absolute cracker. I particularly like this piece, because accidentally or deliberately, the scene blends into the real blue sky behind it, giving a slightly surreal feel to the whole thing.

Johnman, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Johnman, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

Johnman has a gift for producing intrigue and drama in his work, and here we have a girl in a wheat field under a deep blue sky with a dove of peace. The colours suggest that this is a representation of the Ukranian flag and that it is a piece depicting the war with the Dictator Putin’s Russia. A stunning, mysterious and compassionate piece from this outstanding artist.

4499. Upfest 2022 (11)

I have said many times on this blog that one of the great things about street art is that much of it chronicles the times we live in, either overtly in a political context or sometimes in more subtle ways through visual cues or references. This Upfest stencil piece from Daisy Mae Morris is an overt reverence to the war in Ukraine and features Volodymir Zelensky.

Daisy Mae Morris, Upfest 22, May 2022
Daisy Mae Morris, Upfest 22, May 2022

The piece is a take on the famous Lord Kitchener poster of the First World War and seeks to gain the support of Britons in the struggle Ukraine face against dictator Putin and his Russian army. It is a nicely done stencil and I was lucky enough to watch her doing the very final touches to the piece, but not lucky enough to stop for a chat. Great work from Daisy Mae.

4462. Upfest 2022 (4)

I was hoping that there would be some Ukraine pieces at this year’s Upfest, and Karl Read has delivered handsomely with this fabulous stencil piece featuring Volodymir Zelensky. The concept is simple and powerful, as the president of Ukraine reveals his true identity as Superman. I am reminded, each time I see President Zelensky of the Shakespearean quote from Twelfth Night that “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them”. The middle one of these might apply in this instance.

Karl Read, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
Karl Read, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

Karl Read, an Upfest veteran, has cleverly worked on the colour scheme for the piece, with Zelensky painted in black and white and his Superman outfit blasting out in Ukraine’s blue and yellow colours. An additional nice touch is the little lapel badge worn by the president. This is a great contemporary commentary piece, deserving of this high profile wall in Bedminster.

4348. Brunel Way (149)

I passed this spot yesterday, and unfortunately this Ukraine piece from Mr Underbite has already been overpainted, which is a pity. Mr Underbite is another new artist to Bristol, and is following in the footsteps of artists like Enn Kay, Mote, Asre and Bogat, all of whom have been spraying like mad in the last few months, and all who have made recent debuts on the pages of Natural Adventures.

Mr. Underbite, Brunel Way, Bristol, March 2022
Mr. Underbite, Brunel Way, Bristol, March 2022

Mr Underbite paints this rather lovable character with an underbite, in a comic cartoon style. In this particular piece, painted in the familiar colours of the Ukrainian flag, Mr Underbite offers a simple message ‘pray for Ukraine’. Sobering and appropriate in these troubling times. More to come from this artist soon.

4345. Purdown AA Battery (41)

Laic217 has thrown himself into demonstrating his support for Ukraine, which probably feels rather close to home, as a Polish person, in this his third war related piece in recent weeks. Unsigned, this piece is obviously the work of Laic217, and is both hard-hitting and poignant.

Laic217, Purdown, Bristol, March 2022
Laic217, Purdown, Bristol, March 2022

To express rage and anger at dictator Putin’s war through art is a very powerful thing, and Laic217 really captures the horrors being experienced in Ukraine every minute of every day. The blue and yellow neck scarf is nicely painted with superb folds in the fabric, and the hat says it all. Another slightly unconventional piece from Laic217, and one that chronicles the major issue of our time.

4340. Cumberland Basin

I am beginning to wonder whether Haka has young children, because many of his recent pieces feature characters from children’s picture books, such as Thomas the Tank Engine, Lazybones and in this piece, Stick Man, created by the fabulous Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

Haka, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, March 2022
Haka, Cumberland Basin, Bristol, March 2022

Not only is this a faithful homage to the creators of the character, but it is also an anti-war piece in support of the people of Ukraine whose world has been thrown into turmoil by the invasion by Russia, directed by the dictator Putin. I am very much enjoying Haka’s work at the moment, and really feel it is high time for a gallery.

4336. Sprke Evans Park (36)

There are currently two top-drawer calligraffiti artists in Bristol at the moment. Stivs and Todoaciem. Both have their distinct styles, and both pay incredible attention to detail in their craft. This is a superb piece from Todoaciem, spelling CIEM on the long wall at Sparke Evans Park.

Todoaciem, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, March 2022
Todoaciem, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, March 2022

The letters of this piece are incredibly regular and to the untrained eye might be very hard to read, but all becomes quite clear when you know what the letters spell out. Todoaciem has chosen his colours well, with two tones of blue for his letters and black and yellow 3Dshading to help the letters pop. I cannot be sure if the blue and yellow colours have been chosen to support Ukraine, but even if they weren’t consciously, perhaps there was something unconscious about it. I’ve not seen one of these for a little while.

4331. Horfield skate park (9)

John D’oh definitely has a clever approach to his craft. He manages to present a blend of humour and politics in his work, using lots of different stencil techniques and influences to get his messages across. Sometimes he leans heavily on pathos, sometimes deep criticism and at other times wit, and in this stencil, he deals with a very serious issue with the latter approach.

John D'oh, Horfield skate park, Bristol, March 2022
John D’oh, Horfield skate park, Bristol, March 2022

I very much like the fact that he visits this skate park from time to time, partly because it is reasonably close to where I live, but also because it is an infrequently visited spot by artists and turnover there is very low.

This peace dove has had its work cut out over the last few years, and is once again called upon to intervene. We need all the peace we can muster at the moment. A beautifully crafted and sensitively pitched humorous stencil piece from John D’oh.