2293. Hebron Road (2)

My oh my! Nick Harvey, who paints his street art under the name Kin Dose, has created something very special indeed for Upfest’s Summer Editions project. Although it is a pity that there is no festival this year, there has been ample compensation in the form of these ‘special’ pieces spread across the city, with more to come over the summer.

Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019
Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019

I knew that Kin Dose was painting a piece, so took the opportunity to go down and watch him work for a while. I have been an admirer of his work for a few years now, ever since I first became aware of him – it was his cat with black eyes at the Carriageworks that first captivated me. It is so good to be able to watch an artist at work and Kin Dose was sketching out the piece the first time I saw it. I asked him quite a few questions (probably too many) and was able to find out quite a lot about him and his work.

Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019
Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019

He came to Bristol a few years ago and had been known as both Kin and Dose, so combined both to give him his current street name. He used to do a lot of stencils, but said he has become a bit tired of them and no longer enjoys the fiddly cutting element of the technique. Recently he has been doing a lot more photorealistic stuff, and this one must surely be the jewel in the crown.

Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019
Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019

He explained that he perfected his technique through using air brushes to create these photorealistic pieces, and he also uses a lot of cardboard cut out shapes to mask areas and create sharp, clean lines. I asked if that was cheating and he said absolutely not, which made me feel a lot better, because I have been using card to create straight lines on my own rudimentary efforts.

Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019
Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019

The piece took about five or six days to complete, and it is amazing to see how a sketched out blur can turn into something quite magnificent. The piece is almost two paintings in one, the girl’s face and the tiger brought together on a cosmic backdrop.

Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019
Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019

I’m not too sure what the piece is telling us, but I suspect it is something to do with a connection with nature. The tiger’s head is really stunning and holds a captivating expression. His technique is remarkable, it is almost impossible to understand how he gets such fine detail into the fur and whiskers.

Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019
Kin Dose, Hebron Road, Bristol, June 2019

Another triumph for Upfest, and anotherr great addition to Kin Dose’s impressive portfolio.

Dose, Stokes Croft, Bristol, June 2016
Dose, Stokes Croft, Bristol, June 2016

 

 

 

Advertisements

2254. Tobacco Factory

We live in curious times. In the UK we have been enduring an insane paralysis brought about by Brexit, something that has irreversibly divided the nation. In the United States, the most powerful man in the world, President Donald Trump, sets an uneasy tone which resonates globally as his uncompromising ‘business man’ approach to politics destabilises all around him in his efforts to deliver an America first agenda. And yet all this pales into insignificance in the light of two of the most pressing issues in human history… climate change and biodiversity loss.

Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019
Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019

In such moments unlikely heroes arise, and none more unlikely than sixteen year-old Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg. This incredible painting by Bristol’s Jody, part of Upfest’s Summer Editions programme, is a worthy tribute to a young girl whose voice speaks for millions and whose direct messages have contributed to a change in how governments listen to this narrative. Of course listening and acting are two different things, but Greta seems to be in no mood to stop campaigning just yet.

Jody spent a couple of weeks creating this piece and I saw him on a few occasions while he was painting it. We chatted briefly, and I was rather pleased to find out that he has read some of my posts on Natural Adventures. He said that my reviews of his work were kind, and I rather foolishly said that I was kind to everyone, which then made me feel like I was saying that his work was not special. Well let’s put that straight right now… his work is exceptional and of the highest quality and this will I’m sure become an Iconic image of Greta. I believe that pictures and stories about it have already gone global.

Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019
Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, May 2019

It is funny how Greta Thunberg has become a world leader in taking these issues to governments and citizens and bringing climate change up the agenda. Of course, other campaigners have been banging on about this for decades, but somehow her arrival and campaigning came just at the right time, following huge public opinion shifts around the issue of single use plastics, themselves probably prompted by the amazing work of the BBC and Blue Planet 2 and of course Sir David Attenborough.

We have reached a crossroads, and nations must decide how they are going to meet the challenges of Climate change and biodiversity loss. I would say at this point (and I apologise for pointing this out) that there is a strong correlation between Brexiteers and Trumpists (small ‘c’ conservatives) and climate change denial/apathy or even charges of conspiracy. What these people have not registered or acknowledged is that climate change and biodiversity loss will not discriminate against those people they impact upon, nobody will be immune.

We will all lose unless something is done. Large businesses and their shareholders will lose money and maybe collapse; coastal cities and towns will become battered by increasing frequency of storms and rising sea levels; insurance companies will struggle to operate models that can cope with the claims made; more people will go hungry as crops ruin, trade collapses and selfishness protects the rich.

A bleak future for all of us, and the ‘flat earthers’ who don’t want to face up to these challenges put all of us at risk by their deliberating and self-protection. Fools. Look no further than the man-made islands in Dubai and the most fantastic monuments to human folly – built on funds from fossil fuels, these islands will inundate as sea levels rise. You couldn’t make it up.

Here endeth the rant.

Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, June 2019
Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, June 2019

I thank Upfest for making this happen. I thank Jody for choosing to paint this outstanding piece. I thank Greta Thunberg for giving me hope and inspiration. I have dedicated my life to the environment personally and professionally and at last I feel we might be approaching a tipping point where public opinion influences public policy.

Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, June 2019
Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, June 2019

Let’s hope that this iconic piece and iconic young woman continue to inspire us all (even those who disagree with their message, in fact especially those who disagree with their message).

Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, June 2019
Jody, Upfest, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, June 2019

2048. Upfest 2018 (150)

Iain MacArthur is an artist and illustrator based in London who only occasionally paints street art pieces, mostly focussing his efforts on designs for t-shirts and skateboards etc. (so his Upfest biography tells me).

Iain MacArthur, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Iain MacArthur, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This is a really interesting and somewhat challenging piece that shows a cut-away black and white face with a host of colourful strands bursting out like ideas or thoughts. The whole piece has a distinctive illustrative style, and the circles with the little motif inside them are particularly striking. I’d be interested in seeing more from Iain MacArthur.

2047. Upfest 2018 (149)

I love wheatpastes (in case you hadn’t noticed) and at Upfest 2018 we were blessed with a series of poignant and thought provoking stencil paste ups by About Ponny. I was particularly moved by these small scenes, each one depicting the marginalised or forgotten, the vulnerable or neglected.

About Ponny, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
About Ponny, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This one, produced in sepia tones, shows two small children sheltering under a small basket, and has overtones of iconic images from the Vietnam or Cambodian conflicts. There is so much emotion and sadness and pity captured in this image. Really, truly this is an outstanding piece of art.

2246. Upfest 2018 (148)

Inkie is no stranger to Upfest, nor indeed to the streets of Bristol, and this piece sitting above a burner he turned out in 2017 is a festival classic, and has a strong connection with the piece he did for Upfest 2016 also featuring Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Inkie, Upfest, Bristol, May 2018
Inkie, Upfest, Bristol, May 2018

This piece combines the tools of the trade both for Inkie and for the draftsman and engineer, both local heros in their own field.

Inkie, Upfest, Bristol, May 2018
Inkie, Upfest, Bristol, May 2018

I think that Inkie does a great job for Upfest every year, and isn’t at all shy abut shouting out the Upfest brand at every opportunity.

Inkie, Upfest, Bristol, May 2018
Inkie, Upfest, Bristol, May 2018

From recollection, I think that Inkie didn’t quite manage to finish this wall during the festival, and I had to return some days later to get some pictures of the completed work. Well worth the wait though.

Inkie, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017
Inkie, Upfest, Bristol, July 2017

2245. Upfest 2018 (147)

It seems I am drawn to the amazing work of Bex Glover, having recently shared two new pieces by her in Bristol. This was her Upfest 2018 piece and is neatly tucked away in the Hen and Chicken pub back yard and can still be viewed (having had a reprieve due to the absence of a festival this year).

Bex Glover, Upfest, Bristol, May 2018
Bex Glover, Upfest, Bristol, May 2018

Bex Glover’s elegant style is instantly recognisable and thoroughly accessible. Usually a natural/wildlife theme drawn out with simple clean lines and a colour palette that is so very easy on the eye and consistent between pieces. I am a big fan of her work and this is another example of her enormous talent.

2244. Upfest 2018 (146)

The joy of Upfest is that as a visitor, you are guaranteed to see a huge spectrum of amazing street art, and in my view one of the most inspiring artists in 2018 was Piet Rodriguez. This is the second piece by the artist that I have posted, the first one being on the front of a shop on North Street, next door to the Standard. Unfortunately (for us) the shop has changed hands and has been renovated, which means that the wooden frontage (a yard gate) that boasted Piet Rodriguez’s other work is now freshly painted in gray.

Piet Rodriguez, Upfest, Bristol, May 2018
Piet Rodriguez, Upfest, Bristol, May 2018

His style and content is really interesting, combining a classical representation of sculpture and adding some modern abstract elements to it, not unlike the work of PichiAvo. Brilliant execution and a shining star at Upfest 2018.

Piet Rodriguez, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Piet Rodriguez, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018