2875. Upper York Street (22)

This is one of the last pre-lock down pieces from March this year (photographed in April) that I have (not strictly true, as I do have more, but it is the last one I am posting for a while, before I start on a trip through the archives. Painted by Bnie, this beautiful piece of graffiti writing was sprayed at the same time as Hazard and Smak decorated this hoarding (see yesterday’s post).

Bnie, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020
Bnie, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020

This, I think, is the crispest, cleanest piece I have seen from Bnie to date and shows off her talents perfectly.The alternation of graded yellow and blue fills is really nicely done and the patterned 3D shading, a bit of a Bnie trademark, is superb. A classy piece.

2873. Upper York Street (21)

I have been to this hoarding three times and each time the light has been overpowering (whatever happened to those overcast days?). The sun reflects off the windows of buildings behind the camera which reflect dappled sunlight all over this wall, ruining any chance of a decent shot. To take these pictures I waited 20 minutes for the slowest-moving solitary cloud to pass over the sun (I guess I was lucky), and then had to act fast.

Hazard and Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020
Hazard and Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020

The beautiful collaboration is from Hazard and Smak and I think was one of the very last pre-lock down pieces in town. The hoarding surrounds a whole block that has been demolished, bar one single house, which you can seeĀ  in this photograph. It is like a scene from the Disney Pixar movie Up.

Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020
Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020

On the left is a stunning leopard by Hazard (Harriet Wood) which speaks for itself really. The whiskers are particularly good, and I like the way the whole thing bleeds into the Smak writing next to it.

Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020
Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020

Smak consistently produces graffiti writing of the highest order and this is another one to enjoy. Book-ended by leopard spots the mixture of angular and rounded letters is beautifully presented and filled thoughtfully with blues and yellows. Altogether a lovely collaboration.

2868. Upper York Street (20)

A whole block of buildings bar one house on Upper York Street has been demolished and the site is being developed. While this meant that some great graff walls disappeared, they have been temporarily replaced with hoardings. A week or two back some Bristol artists hit the hoardings and this piece from Decay was painted then.

Decay, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020
Decay, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2020

This is a really nice piece from Decay in which he has adopted a slightly different typeface design from the one we are used to seeing. The red line outline provides a nice 3D effect and the painted drips (as opposed to drippy drips) are a nice touch.

This wall is not easy to photograph due to the big sky above it, and afternoons are very tricky indeed – I have been foolish enough to walk down there on three sunny afternoons! This might explain the slightly washed-out look in these pictures.

2619. Upper York Street (19)

A stunning piece by Ments on a great wall. This whole area is being redeveloped, and I fear that the wall may have already been demolished, which is a real pity because it has hosted some really spectacular art. The reduction in available walls to paint in this area is going to be a bit of a challenge for street/graffiti artists and is a pattern being replicated all over the city. It will be interesting to see if new areas become popular painting spots in the future.

Ments, Upper York Street, Bristol, October 2019
Ments, Upper York Street, Bristol, October 2019

The piece is so very typical of Ments’ organic style, and this one has a molten metallic feel about it. The letters spell out MENTS (although the T looks like it is missing). I also get a slight sense of the surrealist Yves Tanguy here, or at least the meltinng shapes and shadows reminnd me of his work. A classy and unusual piece.

2615. Upper York Street (18)

I love it when visiting wheatpasters come to town because during their short stay they tend to paste up several pieces, often in locations slightly off the beaten track. This is a magnificent one from qWeRT continuing the theme of love, with our little googly-eyed character standing at a podium and pointing at a chart. Look a little closer and the chart tells us that there is a growth of love on the streets. A wonderful sentiment, but optimistic at best I would say.

qWeRT, Upper York Street, Bristol, November 2019
qWeRT, Upper York Street, Bristol, November 2019

I often wonder if people who are not interested in street art ever look at things like this, even if only out of curiosity, or whether they simply walk on by without so much as a glimpse. Surely people must wonder what this thing is or why is this here or something, but perhaps not. The next obvious thought is why do wheatpasters do this, as surely they will rarely see the enjoyment/confusion their little contributions make.

Knowing that qWeRT was in the area, I have been looking out for little googly-eye and found five from this session, but there are sure to be more out there. Love this one a lot.

2559. Upper York Street (17)

Sled One is hitting a bit of a purple patch just at the moment, and his Instagram feed is overflowing with recent pieces from all over the country. This is a reasonably recent collaboration with Ments and is located on a wall that both artists are familiar with.

Sled One, Upper York Street, Bristol, October 2019
Sled One, Upper York Street, Bristol, October 2019

Whether it is graffiti writing or character pieces, Sled One simply knocks it out of the park every time, and his writing in particular seems to embrace so many different styles and techniques. Although you can pretty much always identify the work as his, he has a very broad range of letter shapes and styles and no two pieces are remotely the same, unlike some artists who use the same essential building blocks for every piece. A master at the top of his game.

2488. Upper York Street (16)

An artist who just never seems to stop, and the number of posts on Natural Adventures featuring his work would evidence that, is Face 1st. In recent weeks he seems to have reverted to his charming portraits and hair spelling out FACE after experimenting with full body characters, always female, during the summer. I like it that he is stretching his ‘portfolio’ and that he remembers where he has come from too.

Face 1st, Upper York Street, Bristol, September 2019
Face 1st, Upper York Street, Bristol, September 2019

This one on Upper York Street, adjacent to Hazard’s wonderful frog, is full of soft subtle tones that contrast with the brighht pink background. I’ve rarely come across a piece by this artist that I haven’t liked.

2178. Upper York Street (15)

I have been waiting a long time to be able to post this piece. I have walked past it dozens of times, but cars have been parked in front, blocking anything like a decent picture. Obviously the writing is by Epok but I have a feeling, having seen some tattoo designs on Instagram, that the toadstool is by 3Dom. This is highly possible as the two do like to paint together.

Epok and 3Dom?, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019
Epok and 3Dom?, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019

Surrounded by street furniture and what is left of a bicycle it is virtually impossible to get as clean shot of this wall, so this is about as good as it gets. The rather touching thing about this piece is the three tributes to Mibzy, Buzz and CKOne each one a much loved and admired character from the Bristol street art scene.

2156. Upper York Street (14)

I love it when it happens, when an unannounced collaboration appears as if by magic. This sensational work from Smak and Hazard is one of those special pieces, and I think they have absolutely smashed it.

Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019
Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019

Smak has again gone for one of his double burners, where he has cleverly crafted two versions of his name into one piece. If you look carefully, there is one in blue and one in mostly orange. Such an accomplished thing to do from an artist who seems to be at the top of his game at the moment.

Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019
Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019

Then to Hazard’s fabulous frog, which I have to say has come as a huge surprise because I am more used to seeing her portrait pieces. I am a naturalist by training, and I have always had a bit of a soft spot for amphibians, especially frogs, so this piece really chimes with me.

Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019
Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019

Everything about this frog is good, the colours and the shading and the light reflecting off the body and the eye. Such an unusual piece to find on the streets of Bristol, but a wholly welcome one. More of this kind of thing please! A great collaboration on Upper York Street, so utterly well worth a look.

1726. Upper York Street (13)

Whenever qWeRT comes to town there is always an exciting trail of wheatpastes hidden in the back streets of Bristol. I am constantly on a quest to find them, but know there are some I will never find.

qWeRT, Upper York Street, Bristol, August 2018
qWeRT, Upper York Street, Bristol, August 2018

This one is on the pillar of a car park, which adjoins a former church and so is entirely appropriate to its environs. Jesus is rarely depicted in street art, which is peculiar in a way, because in years gone by he has been the subject of countless murals, inside and outside. This is a wonderful piece…a googly eyed Jesus – not something you see every day.