This is an unmistakable piece by My Dog Sighs, which was one of several little ‘gifts’ left behind in Cheltenham by him at the Paint Festival in 2018. Having never been to a Cheltenham Art Festival before I was discovering so many of these beauties for the first time this year. I love this photograph… there is something about the placement of the piece on this particular wall and its immediate environment, such as the carpet and the weeds that come together to make an outstanding image.
I don’t think I’ll ever tire of these eyes, and although they are one of My Dog’s trademark pieces, each is individual and independent of the others. The most amazing thing about this one is how you can look at it and in your mind know that it is on a flat surface, but the skillful artwork has a depth and the shine on the iris makes it look aqueous, just like a real eye. Magnificent in so many ways.
Absolutely no prizes for guessing the artist…besides which his signature is strikingly obvious in this piece. Laic217 favours this wall, and I must have six or seven of his works from here over the past three years or so. Incidentally, Moon Street is one of my favourite haunts too, but there seems to be less and less turnover here than there used to be.
In this piece, we have many of the things you can expect from Laic217 Including the bucket hat and brick wall motif. But what I particularly like about this character is his eyes which are actually spray can caps – a great idea. You have got to like the rather manic ‘Joker’ mouth too, which adds a touch of menace to the piece.
Laic217’s pieces are often highly colourful and this one is no exception to that. The turquoise background acting as a perfect foil to the red brick shirt and purple face. I’ve always been a fan and likely will always continue to be one.
There is still so much I don’t know about street art in Bristol. This is a photograph I took quite a long time ago, but I never really tracked down who painted it. It has been sitting in my archive, but I am none the wiser about its origins. I thought I’d publish it in any case under the ‘unknown’ artist category.
It was sprayed around the time of the absurd Donald Trump wall-building cant, and along with so much other street art, lampoons the unhinged president. I actually really like this political commentary piece and only wish I knew who the artist is. Any ideas on a postcard…
Set in a wall on a hill very close to where I work is this beautiful old weathered door. It is the perfect ‘secret garden’ door, but it is not the secrets that hide on the other side of this wall that grabbed my attention, rather it is the small stone sculptures that pepper the outside of the wall along its length.
The artwork is by the late Bob Ballard, an artist from Bristol, and I found this tribute on the Society of Graphic Fine Art website which tells you a little more about him:
Bob Ballard was born in London in 1944. He had worked full time as an artist since 1989, when he won a Goldsmiths Travel Bursary (drawing and studying Romanesque art in Spain). Thereafter he was awarded many prizes, including the Bruckhaus Derringer Award from the Royal Watercolour Society. Bob’s work encompassed abstract and representative styles in a wide range of media, such as sculpture, print, oils, watercolour and pastels. Later in his career he was a senior lecturer at the University of the West of England, and senior tutor and research associate for COREOX, University of Oxford. Bob was a council member for both the Society of Graphic Fine Art (SGFA) and the Bath Society of Artists (BSA). He lived in Bristol with his wife Maggie.
Bob Ballard attached a number of small sculptures to the wall which the curious would notice. Little gifts of artwork that brighten up a day. I love this wall, I love the door and I love the sculptures.
I found this quote from Bob Ballard on his Facebook feed, which I rather like:
“ In my work I always try to place the unknown next to the known. Defamiliarisation is the essence of art. The closer you look at it the greater the distance from which it stares back at you.”
I love, love, love this one from NEVERGIVEUP in Moon Street. Regulars will know that I am very fond of his bunnies, but it is as much to do with the location and environment as it is to do with the artwork that attracts me to this piece.
The door in the wall leads to a derelict old building and gets sprayed regularly, but there is something about this rabbit that just seems to be utterly representative of how a little bit of art can bring a ray of sunshine to a grotty area. It stands out even more because of the way it contrasts with the wall and graffiti either side of it. All good.