It is great to see that VisitBristol (the local tourist authority) is putting its weight behind the creative arts, in particular street art, by commissioning this mural on one of the walls of We the Curious (formerly @Bristol). The idea behind the mural is to increase visits to the city over the Christmas period to boost tourism as this little YouTube video shows.
The artists chosen for the commission are Cheo and Silent Hobo, both of whom have featured on these pages many, many times before. Here they combine to produce this sumptuous Bristol-themed Christmas mural with a whole ton of identifiable Bristol icons.
The left hand side of the mural is mostly the work of Silent Hobo and features the aquarium, the ice rink, the cathedral and harbourside among other things and in the foreground we have a few bristol carol singers representing the two (rival) football teams.
On the right Cheo’s mural includes the Clifton suspension bridge, the zoo, the Christmas market, the M Shed and Isembard Kingdom Brunel (the greatest ever Englishman). The whole thing is surrounded with a golden frame and the whole thing is rather delicious.
Given that street art and graffiti are part of the USP for Bristol, I would love to see VisitBristol and the Council do more of this kind of thing in recognition of the street artists who bring free art to the city rather than locking it down, for example in The Bearpit.
Most people in Bristol will know that the brilliant museum in Millennium Square, formerly known as @Bristol, changed its name to ‘We the Curious’ about a year ago, in a deliberate move to engage with people and inquisitive young minds. The museum and surrounding environment have always lent themselves to creative arts and the area is a showcase for science meets arts. Recently ‘We the Curious’ teamed up with the Cabot Institute to commission this beautiful work by Bristol illustrator and artist Anna Higgie.
This is a climate change mural (which immediately ticks my boxes) that on the face of it is a stylish portrait, but look a little closer and the picture comes alive with little stories about a changing climate and some of the causes. It is an unusual piece and one we should be proud of, if together with strong climate narratives it begins to engage people with the urgent need to do things differently in order to slow down CO2 emissions. I only know of one other work by the artist in Bristol and will have to post it soon.
One of the joys of the street art scene in Bristol is that it encompasses a spectrum of art from the safest commissions through to illegal graffiti writing and everything in between. Long live artistic expression and public access to art.