A Street Art Crawl Through Bristol

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Jazz compiles some of Bristol’s most quirky, creative, and influential pieces of street art you can find by foot, in an afternoon.

One thing I’ve always loved about Bristol is the street art.

Our city is bursting with vibrant pieces of art.

Our city is bursting with vibrant pieces of art, scaling the skyscrapers and etched into the corners. Whether you live in St Pauls, Easton, Montpelier, Southville; you don’t get very far before you encounter a great bit of street art on your way to work in the morning.

The entire street art scene feels different here because this is the only place I’ve lived where it’s not only been accepted, but embraced. Here there are legal walls, which means these are spaces where artists can get creative without worrying about illegal activity. There are also festivals like Upfest that celebrate street art in all it’s forms, acting as a showcase for artists to work freely in front of live audiences. It’s incredible, I was walking through a fair on North Street recently and there were platforms for young people being taught how to spray-paint. Bristol demonstrates that the majority of street art is not an act of vandalism, but instead is an expression of talent and beauty.

Everyone knows Banksy , the illusive world-renowned street artist from Bristol, who leaves stunning artwork scattered across the city. He’s considered a treasure, and guaranteed you can all name at least  few great spots to eyeball some of his work. But with a big wave of people flocking to Park Street and Stokes Croft to see his most famous pieces, what about the rest? Bristol is full of untapped talent and astounding street art hidden where you might not expect it. The most popular street art tours focus almost completely on these areas, meaning there’s a lot of gems out there you don’t get to see.

 So, I took a walk through the city one afternoon and captured a selection of street art work that I feel is very ‘Bristol’. I initially headed to Montpelier, which is where I live, then to St Pauls and Stokes Croft. Some photos are from my weekend at Upfest 2016, and are just a mere snippet of the amount of artwork produced. Some are historical, a representation of Bristol’s past. Some are humorous, and are a simple form of public notice. Some are political, and some are just pure brilliant. Feast your eyes, folks.

Albert Place Park, Montpelier

Tucked away down a small side street, this colourful piece has been around the corner from me for years and i’ve never known. Street art walks are a must, they always lead you somewhere unexpected.

ALBERT PARK PLACE

Photos by Jasmine Thompson

Photos by Jasmine Thompson

Albert Park, St Pauls

If you know, you know. A combination of sayings that really embody what it means to be Bristolian.

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Brighton Street, St Pauls

Paying homage to Bristol’s history in the slave trade, the Empire Windrush and St Pauls Carnival, this is one of the more cultural pieces the city has to offer.

MIGRATION- st pauls brighton street

Photos by Jasmine Thompson

Photos by Jasmine Thompson

Picton Street, Montpellier

A pinch of optimism. Being right next to my house, this gets me through a lot of days.

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Star And Garter- Montpelier

You’ve probably heard about it but might not have been, either way this vibrant little pub in the heart of Montpelier is something worth seeing. Often pumping the sounds of dub and reggae, its garden and play park are a cosy spot for anyone who loves street art and music.

STAR AND GARTER 3

STAR AND GARTER 2

Photos by Jasmine Thompson

Photos by Jasmine Thompson

North Street, Southville

We all know who it is. A true figure of Bristol, Jeff the Big Issue guy has finally had a mural dedicated to him. Artwork created at Upfest 2016, and can still be found tucked away on North Street.

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Raleigh Road, Southville

It got political.

You will probably recognised some of Odeith’s work, he’s been acclaimed as one of the best mural painters in the world.

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Star And Garter, Montpelier

It was too silly to ignore. So, so Bristol.

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

North Street, Bristol

This vibrant artwork of Zeus created this year at Upfest had me mesmerised, and was undoubtedly one of the most talked about pieces of the festival.

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Cheltenham Road, Stokes Croft

Lastly, this is my favourite piece. In light of so many recent events, this could not be more relevant. I’m glad Bristol thinks so.

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

Photo by Jasmine Thompson

What are your favourite pieces of street art in Bristol? And where have you seen the best ones? We want to know, so get at us on Twitter at Rifemag and Facebook at Rife Magazine.

If you’re an arty type and fancy getting stuck into something creative, head to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery to make a zine for the day.