As promised, here are the photos I took at the See No Evil street art project in Bristol last month, and in Stokes Croft.
Some of the links in this post may not be suitable for children – maybe a bit sweary…
I first saw the art still in progress as I came through Nelson Street on a bus on the Friday of my trip. My friend told me there was a party planned for Saturday, and they were decorating the street, and there was going to be DJs etc. I was at the wedding over the weekend, so I couldn’t go, but what I saw from the bus was so impressive, I made a special point to return there on Monday.
Apparently street artists from around the world were invited over to take part. It was an opportunity to rejuvenate a drab street with unexciting concrete buildings and showcase high quality street art. See this video of them painting the street.
I was amazed how the artists carried the painting across all surfaces and obstacles without disrupting the design. I read these articles: Part 1 & Part 2 about the event, and some of the artists project their design onto the space and trace it from there. However some artists, like Arys from Barcelona, just go at these vast walls freehand:
Pretty impressive. I’m sure some of them must use a grid system too.
It created an amazing atmosphere in the street, lots of people were stopping and admiring the work; and looking up, something we don’t often do in city streets.
I loved the way some of the art was fitted into the shapes of the architecture.
They created a garden environment for the party:
This was an incredible piece, and really dominated that area of the street:
Here’s some of the textured detail of it:
Strangely, in among all the colour, I really liked two monochrome pieces. I saw this one being finished off when I went past on the bus. I loved the delicacy of the paint strokes:
And the calligraphic style of this one, it takes some doing to organise the letters like that:
There were some odd things – a tree creature:
with a wrapped knitted trunk. Mosaic covered lamp posts:
but when I got closer I realised that they were wrapped with knitting too!
Inspired yarn bombing from Elise at Podknit.com, congratulations on fooling a fellow knitter.
I also enjoyed the tattoo like designs etched into the pollution stained stone doorway behind:
My friend said,”If you liked that, you’ve got to come and see Stokes Croft.” So we walked a little further out of town for yet more street art from homegrown artists.
I love this artist’s style:
I enjoyed the reference to Hokusai’s famous print, “The Great Wave” behind the characters. Here’s some more of their work:
The art has been a creative response to a rundown dilapidated area, groups of artists and traders have reclaimed some of these rundown buildings, and put them to good use for small businesses and rehearsal spaces and studios. They have also made the boarded up buildings look more attractive:
This is the top of the building:
Apparently it is The Carriage Works building, I found more information about the subject of these murals here. A social enterprise group a been set up to look after the area, called The Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft.
I went in their selling gallery, and bought myself a mug.
They got hold of white china blanks and transfer designs from a pottery that had closed down and have been creating their own inventive style with them, more information here.
There was a really interesting shop next door where they were upcycling furniture in an inventive way. A cafe called Canteen has set up in an old Social Security type building, with more gallery and workshop spaces, and we enjoyed a refreshing drink there. My friend pointed out the Banksy mural at the side of the terrace:
It all makes for a vibrant atmosphere in the area. Some more art at Stokes Croft:
and more guerilla knitting:
On the walk back to Clifton we found another Banksy:
His wry sense of humour and social commentary makes his work stand out – this was opposite the hospital!
I found this great website on Bristol Street Art with plenty of photos of the See No Evil project, and where the Banksy murals are located. This all seems very pertinent after the airing of the entertaining Banksy documentary, “Exit through the Gift Shop“, on UK TV channel More4 last night.