Dan Doodies is a street artist, designer, illustrator and painter form the Slough/London area. His piece at Upfest 2016 was one of the most memorable of the whole event. There is a rush of colour in this psychadelic piece that has a whiff of the Beatles and in my mind ELO about it.
I love this bold and striking piece and somehow it seems to represent all that is best about Upfest bringing artists together from all over the country/world to show off their works. I still feel with every passing day, what a privilege it is to live in Bristol and to have such a vibrant street art culture.
There was so much street art on offer at Upfest, that if you blinked you could miss something. I am so glad I had my camera with me, although on the day I took this photograph, my camera ran out of battery (aaaaargh what an idiot!) so I had to use my phone camera, and the results don’t really do the art justice. This was one of those pieces that was better ‘in the flesh’ but still looks pretty good in this photograph.
The artist is Mutiny (Jane Laurie), a British, London-based, wildlife illustrator, fine art painter and street artist. Clearly very talented and driven with a desire to raise awareness about endangered wildlife; she uses the hashtag #lovewildlife and signature anatomical heart on all her street art work. Oh! so much great stuff at Upfest.
Towards the end of North Street (the West end) there are a lovely pair of garage doors that constitute a desirable spot for local street artists. At Upfest 2016 the honour was given to Rocket01 to work his magic.
When I got to his pitch, he was rather concerned about the inconsiderate car drivers who were impatiently tooting street enthusiasts as they photographed his work. An irritation shared by many who were trying to admire his work on this tight corner. I chatted with him for a short while and told him I would write about his work in my blog…so here it is.
Rocket01, North Street, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
Rocket01, North Street, Upfest, Bristol, July 2016
This is a striking piece by Rocket01 who originally comers from Sheffield and tours the country as a street artist. This was the first time I have seen his work, and I was really impressed. I like this kind of thing.
In his bio from the Upfest programme, he talks of his work with the following quote:
“I have visions of a post-apocalyptic world where mankind has finally embraced nature and immersed himself within it. He swims with the fishes, he flies with the birds, chlorophyll runs through his veins and his eyes photosyntesize.”
I rather like this, but that is no surprise coming from a ‘nature boy’.
There is detail in this work that hints at sustainable energy, peace, nature…visions of hope. Another great Upfest piece.
It was not my intention to post two Upfest entries by the same artist so close together, but I am approaching all of this in a rather random way. So here we have the second wonderful offering from Caro Pepe in a rather short space of time.
This incredible work carries the overall theme of Mr. Men/Little Miss and presents us with Little Miss Sunshine. Once again, we see the single eye and flowing hair, but in this instance in a styalised form to fit the theme. It is funny, but this piece, more than many other Upfest works, just blends in so perfectly into the North Street ‘thing’ and feels like it has been here forever.
I do hope we can encourage Caro Pepe to visit us in Bristol again from her native Argentina.
Lemak had said that he was planning something spectacular for Upfest this year and with this piece ‘love’ he surely didn’t disappoint. I have been hugely impressed with Bristol-based Lemak’s stencil work that I have seen, in particular his tribute to DJ Derek and his tattooed girl.
This piece is an absolute masterclass in stencil work, and I think my favourite piece of Upfest 2016. In addition to the great composition and technical work, Lemak has introduced some innovation to the piece.
The heart stands proud of the rest of the picture, giving it a 3D aspect. His use of chemical formulae also brings an interesting dimension to the work, but most of all it is telling a story, and the best works usually have a story to tell. I don’t think I can express how good I think this is.
I returned to this piece several times over the three days, but wasn’t lucky enough to catch up with Lemack…perhaps next time. Utterly brilliant.
Fake is a brilliant self-taught Dutch stencil artist from Amsterdam whose work at this year’s Upfest is one of the outstanding pieces. Who can forget the image of a comic character (is it Skeletor? I’m not much cop at this kind of thing) riding a banana?
The clean lines and framing of the piece on a white wall is what really makes this something different and special. Once again Upfest brings in talent like this for Bristolians to enjoy and appreciate for at least a year, and makes us all hungry for more.
I was very struck by this piece by Fake, and it is in my ‘top ten’ (figurative, not literal, because that would be impossible) from the festival. His website is well worth a gander too.
Only a few yards away from the wonderful Hannah Adamaszek piece is this striking work by one of my old favourites ATM. His works of wildlife can be found all over Bristol, and now in the very special playground of Ashton Gate school. It looks like I might only have missed him by slim moment as his step ladder is still next to the wall, but I think the work was completed.
As a naturalist, I really ought to know what bird this is, but I am not sure. Scratch that…I have just checked out his Instagram account and it is a wood warbler. His bird works are really exceptional and I wonder if he has been approached by the Audubon Mural Project, if not, he should be. A superb work, and an outstanding artist at this year’s festival.