Bristol Street Art

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.

Nelson Street art

Nelson Street art

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.

Nelson Street art

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:

Nelson Street art

Pretty impressive. I’m sure some of them must use a grid system too.

Nelson Street art

Nelson Street art      Nelson Street art

Nelson Street art

Nelson Street art

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.

Nelson Street art

I loved the way some of the art was fitted into the shapes of the architecture.

Nelson Street art

Nelson Street art

Nelson Street art

They created a garden environment for the party:

Nelson Street art

This was an incredible piece, and really dominated that area of the street:

Nelson Street art

Here’s some of the textured detail of it:

Nelson Street art detail

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:

Nelson Street art

And the calligraphic style of this one, it takes some doing to organise the letters like that:

Nelson Street art

There were some odd things – a tree creature:

Nelson Street knitted art

with a wrapped knitted trunk. Mosaic covered lamp posts:

Nelson Street art

but when I got closer I realised that they were wrapped with knitting too!

Podknit yarn bombing

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:

Nelson Street art

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.

Stokes Croft street art

Stokes Croft street art

I love this artist’s style:

Stokes Croft street art

I enjoyed the reference to Hokusai’s famous print, “The Great Wave” behind the characters. Here’s some more of their work:

Stokes Croft street art

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:

Stokes Croft street art

Stokes Croft street art

This is the top of the building:

Stokes Croft street art

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.

Stokes Croft street art

I went in their selling gallery, and bought myself a mug.

Stokes Croft 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:

Banksy street art

It all makes for a vibrant atmosphere in the area. Some more art at Stokes Croft:

Stokes Croft street art

Stokes Croft street art

Stokes Croft street art

and more guerilla knitting:

Stokes Croft yarn bombing, Bristol

On the walk back to Clifton we found another Banksy:

Banksy street art

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.

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