Will Coles certainly left his mark at Upfest 2017, with a number of different ‘installations’ dotted around the festival site and in other parts of Bristol too. This particular one chimes for a great many people in the UK, and I guess across the world, and links to the catastrophic decline in honey bee and other insect pollinator populations.
I would like to think that this is somewhat less controversial than many of his works, but it is nonetheless quite challenging politically. There are some who advocate the use of neonicotinoids and other pesticides to sustain high crop yields and guarantee food production for the nation.
Each of these honey bees were carefully placed. It was fun hunting them down.
I said in my post about the rather unusual Upfest piece by Will Coles that I would write about more of his work that he left behind in various places in Bristol. This is the first of those.
The clever thing about this and his other pieces is that they are all disguised or camouflaged in some way and that most passers by will not see them. I only stumbled across this one myself, because I had noticed a new Mr Draws piece on the wall of the Gents, and looked up.
There is something funny about a skull with LOL written on it…I’m not sure what, but it tickled me anyway. More from Will Coles soon.
Upfest always has a knack of introducing you to something just that little bit different, and for me this year, the most interesting finds were several sculptures dotted around the place by Will Coles.
Will Coles is a sculptor born in Warwickshire but who has spent time in Suffolk, as a child and in London and Glasgow, before moving to Sydney, Australia. He has now returned and is living somewhere in Europe (his own words).
His street work, judging by his website, is eyecatching to say the least. He has a subversive streak and takes a long look at modern culture upon which his works offer an interesting commentry. This particular piece may make the viewer uneasy on several levels. Add together the images and messages with the tarnished brass plaque appearance of the piece and you have a classy piece, which will shock. Because of its location and ‘part of the street funrnitue’ appearance, many who came to Upfest will have totally missed the piece.
Luckily he did another one in Blue, just in case you missed the first one.
Serendipitously, I found another of his pieces in Bristol this afternoon, and didn’t know it was by him until I started a little research to write this post. Funny how things like that happen.
I definitely like his work, and will keep my eyes peeled to see what else he left behind in Bristol after Upfest.