The quality of artists and their artwork for the Upfest 75 walls in 75 days event has been astonishingly high, and Bristolians are blessed and privileged to have so much free art to enjoy. It is sad therefore, to report that a couple of days ago several of the pieces were badly tagged by some idiot who bears a grudge against Upfest. Don’t think for one second that the irony is lost on me, but the Upfest guest list is of the highest order and their work should be respected. One or two pieces have been repaired, and I hope the others will too. Fortunately this one was too high for the grubby vandal to deface.
This work by TEAone AKA Gavin Renshaw is truly outstanding and has a relaxed rural feel about it. What could be nicer than a musician strumming away in a café scene such as this? I had thought of talking to the artist while he was working on it, but at the moment I was there he didn’t look in the right space for a chat, so I left him to it.
The writing spells TONE, TEAone, geddit? And the overall composition has a strong 1950/60s look both in design and colours. Those little iron café chairs are exquisite, and the piece is rounded off perfectly with some clever shading, especially around the hat and face of the musician. This is a superb addition to the 75 walls.
Upfest is the gift that keeps on giving. By spreading out the 75 artworks over a period of 75 days, people like me, who can be rather lazy, are forced to get out and go to places beyond the usual honeypots, to find new pieces in the Bedminster area. In looking for these new pieces, I have been lucky enough to stumble upon older ones that I have never seen before, such as this beauty by Gage Graphics.
This delightful commission is on the shutters of the ‘Mutty Professor’ pet shop, and certainly brings a bit of colour to an otherwise rather bland shopfront. There are two shutters, one over the window and one over the door. In purples and pinks, the piece is of a rather gentle rural landscape with meadows and rolling hills.
The large window features a dog and a cat enjoying this landscape in the shade of a tree in blossom and an ash tree (there won’t be too many of those left in a few years). A really nice piece that I definitely wasn’t looking for, which makes it all the more satisfying.
Six bricks high. What an amazing contrast to the huge version of this same stencil by Dice67 in Cheltenham that I posted yesterday. Dice67 has really dined out on this iconic image of his daughter, but I am not surprised really, it has something very special about it, maybe it is something to do with the little girl’s stance and attitude that we all know so very well (particularly parents).
I spotted this on West street quite by accident – I really ought to have known it was there on the side of a shop, but it came as a nice surprise to me nonetheless. I suspect it has probably been there for quite some time, but as I have said frequently, I can’t be everywhere all the time and anyhow if I was, there wouldn’t then be any surprises. Gotta love it.
Another fabulous Halloween treat, this time from Kin Dose just a stone’s throw away from Dean Lane skate park, where I left Rusk who had tipped me off about this fresh piece.
I have seen better pictures of this wall from people who were lucky enough to be here when the sun wasn’t casting shadows all over the place. I seem to be making lots of excuses about poor quality pictures at the moment, but I have to take the shots when I can as I never know when I am going to be back, and tagging and turnover are the enemies of archivists.
Kin Dose is an extraordinarily talented artist whose work is always of the highest standard. He doesn’t do an awful lot of street work, but whenever he does it is always beautifully executed. Comfortable with stencils as well as free hand work he really sets a very high bar.
This piece faithfully reproduces characters from Tim Burton’s ‘A Nightmare Before Christmas’. It is so crisp and clean and although in partial shade I felt lucky to see it in its first full day of being on this wall. A real beauty.
This is a lovely mural by Cheo, especially if you happen to be a Bristol City fan. The team are known as the Robins, and Cheo has incorporated this into his tribute to the football club. I’m not entirely sure how long this piece has been here, but I suspect it is several years.
One of the surprising things perhaps, or maybe I am just too cynical, is that it hasn’t been vandalised in any way by supporters of the rival Bristol club, Bristol Rovers. I do like it when two of my passions converge like this, but it doesn’t happen as often as one might think (now planning to search my archive for football-related street art). As an Arsenal fan, I have no allegiance to either of the Bristol teams and always want both to do well for the sake of the city.
I have only seen Pelmo’s work a couple of times, but I know that I really love his work. The soft tone and style of his cartoon characters carries with it a light-hearted humour, and his pieces tell complex stories. His work reminds me a little of Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoons, but there is a little more tenderness to Pelmo’s work.
I think that this wall was part of Upfest 2016, but I never made it here before as it is really quite a long way from the Upfest main area. This is a highly accomplished piece and in it is a deftness and confidence in the scene that Pelmo has created. It is so easy on the eye, it almost feels that it is just part of the street scenery. It is easy to drift into the world he has created.
I love his attention to detail, things like the hand rail that the character on the right is holding and the shadows cast by the bicycle and the street bins. Of course for the cat lovers there is a splendid moggie sprawled out on the wall. I also rather like the way that the rubble sacks in front of the piece almost feel like they are incorporated into the whole experience. I love this and really look forward to seeing his work at Upfest 2018.
A week or two ago I went in search of an Upfest piece from last year that I still hadn’t yet found. I found it, which is good, and I will post it very soon…worth the waiting for I can assure you. On the way, I stumbled into this rather lovely small piece from Andy Council neatly tucked into the corner of a building. It is as if the space was always meant to have a piece of art there.
This piece goes back to 2014, but it is still looking fresh. It appears to be a Bristol fox, and how fitting to have an urban fox composed of houses and buildings. Unusually Andy Council has not incorporated the Clifton suspension bridge, but has managed to include one of the large tobacco warehouses, I think it might be the Create Centre. On a sunny day, this was a real bonus find in an area I rarely visit.
I have been aware of this wonderful Andy Council horse for some time now, but was never quite sure where it was. I actually found it when taking pictures of some other works from Upfest that were a bit of a trek away from the main drag.
Andy Council is a favourite son of Bristol, and has produced countless murals around the city, many of which remain in place after several years. The distinctive style of blending architectural and urban features (such as the Clifton suspension bridge) with biological form to create his animals is unmistakable and really interesting. One can spend a long time studying all the little details that make up the whole.
I am still coming across street art that was created during Upfest 2015, and on my walk yesterday I found this wonderful piece by Gemma Compton.
Compton is an artist and fashion designer who is based in Bristol, and another graduate from UWE (University of the West of England). A lot of her work incorporates wildlife and birds in particular. She has an interesting website that shows off her extensive work. Street art is clearly not her main focus, which is a pity, as this is rather good.