2018. Lower Ashley Road (2)

Sled One has absolutely smashed it with this extraordinarily brilliant piece of graffiti writing on the new hoardings at the bottom end of Lower Ashley Road. Sadly, the developers have already placed batten squares all over the hoardings in preparation for advertising posters (I guess). How sad that our world is dominated by consumerism and money. These boards were a creative outlet for Bristol street artists to share their art with fellow citizens. Instead, drivers will have to endure seedy adverts desperately thrusting lifestyle aspirations at us in an attempt to sell their grubby products to swell their shareholders wallets. Capitalism is driving everything towards the lowest common denominator of money. No wonder the world is in a mess.

Sled One, Lower Ashley Road, Bristol, January 2019
Sled One, Lower Ashley Road, Bristol, January 2019

Back to the art and the joy it can bring to our hearts. Sled One is one of the artists I rate most highly in Bristol and this piece (which spells out SLED) is a fine example of his work. He had to paint this in two sessions as he was ‘moved on’ I think when he was sketching it out. Thank goodness he had the perseverance to come back and finish it off. I hope the artists find a way of keeping these hoardings alive, but I fear it could be difficult.

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1997. Lower Ashley Road (1)

Yum yum, a lovely fresh hoarding went up a couple of weeks back in Lower Ashley Road and within a flash a whole bunch of writers were on it. They must have been disturbed though, because as soon as the outlines for their pieces gone up, the were apparently abandoned, unfinished. Glad to say though that they went back at a later date and completed their work. Hurrah!

Smak, Lower Ashley Road, Bristol, January 2019
Smak, Lower Ashley Road, Bristol, January 2019

This cracking piece by Smak is a very clever bit of graffiti writing. On Instagram he said it was two for the price of one, and you can see why. If you look carefully, he has written SMAK twice, with the letters from each word intertwining with the other. A masterful piece of work and one that really demonstrates just how good Smak is. Love this and the persistent ‘never say die’ attitude that goes with it. Looking forward to these boards becoming a new street art/graffiti art spot for at least a while.

1980. Dean Lane skate park (186)

Another overlooked piece from my archives, this time from Elvs in Dean Lane. It is very possible that this remained on file for so long because at the time of seeing it, I didn’t know the artist and so left the picture in a folder. Because the turnover of pieces in Bristol is so high, many that I photograph never see the light of day, but on my occasional trawls through the archives I like to dig some oldies out.

Elvs, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2016
Elvs, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2016

Elvs’ skills are obvious for all to see, and the crisp lines on his distinctive writing style are a pleasure to observe, and in this one, the shading within the letters is masterful. A great piece on the bit of wall that is very difficult to photograph…as you can see.

1974. M32 roundabout J3 (121)

You’ll know how much I try to avoid writing posts about artists I know nothing about, but sometimes the piece is just too good not to share. This is one such example. Some really classy writing, as part of a paint jam, which included all sorts of artists I am not familiar with. This piece I am guessing is by Debris.

Debris, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2018
Debris, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2018

Of course it is possible the piece is by another artist who just happens to be writing the word ‘DEBRIS’ but it is unusual for graffiti writers to stray from their preferred letters/name. There is an energy about this one that I really admire, and I love the fiery stripe running through all the letters. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for more from this artist.

1964. Dean Lane skate park (185)

The thing I love about Soker is that he is his own man. Quietly and without fanfare, he’ll just saunter down to Dean Lane and create something like this. No fuss, no bother, but just how good is it? If you ask me it is a brilliant , and he must be one of the best writers in the UK right now.

Soker, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2018
Soker, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2018

The salmon pink background is quite an unusual colour, and one I haven’t seen much of before. If nothing else, it helps the writing and black outline to it stand out. The three shades to the lettering fill are quite understated, but just to give the whole thing a bit of a spark, Soker has included five orange accents within the lettering. An outstanding piece and one I certainly wasn’t expecting to find.

1961. Armada Place (14)

Every once in a while, this spot gets some TLC which it surely deserves especially as much of the stuff that appears here is not great or gets tagged within an instant. This is one half of a collaborative session from Sepr (to follow) and Epok.

Epok, Armada Place, Bristol, January 2019
Epok, Armada Place, Bristol, January 2019

The piece was sprayed as an end of year celebration to see out 2018 (good riddance) and welcome in 2019. A sensational colour selection and all the hallmarks of a classic Epok piece – I love it to pieces.

1958. M32 roundabout J3 (115)

Regular readers might recognise this as the work of the wonderful talent that is Kleiner Shames. His colour palette and the shapes of his letters are very distinctive, and if that is not enough to go on, the letters FOIS should give it away.

Kleiner Shames, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2019
Kleiner Shames, M32 roundabout, Bristol, January 2019

Such sights are a bit of a rarity in Bristol these days since the artist trundled off to london to find his fortune, but I guess he still hankers after the old city of Bristol and makes these occasional trips and marks them with fine pieces like this one. I find his letters very calming and gentle and aesthetically pleasing. Nothing jars. Always a genuine pleasure to find one of these.