I am unhappy with several things about this post, and I haven’t even written it yet. Firstly; the photographs are crap; and secondly, I am not confident who the artist is. I should have cut my losses and abandoned this post altogether, but something has made me persevere regardless.
I couldn’t read the signature, and only have the name Slava to go on, but then I saw an Instagram post of the piece which was credited the work to Zase. I couldn’t find a signature. Anyhow, the field of sunflowers under a blue sky is a delight, and an obvious reference to Ukraine, demonstrating continued support and concern to the nation under siege from Putin’s dictatorship. I might have to return to this one and take some decent pictures and retrospectively insert them. Beautiful and meaningful work.
This piece, by Costah, was photographed in early June and is clearly in support of Ukraine. The shock waves of Putin’s aggressive war against Ukraine since then have contributed to human suffering far beyond the borders of the two countries. There is little that citizens of Europe can do apart from offering help and hope.
Costah has placed a pair of his characters in a solemn embrace in the centre of a Ukrainian flag and the word HOPE. In an act of solidarity for the oppressed, he has also listed Palestine, Myanmar, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq along the foot of the piece. Pieces like this remind us about the bigger picture and take us away from our first world problems, at least for a moment.
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 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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.