A Street Art Crawl Through Bristol
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, St Pauls
If you know, you know. A combination of sayings that really embody what it means to be Bristolian.
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.
Picton Street, Montpellier
A pinch of optimism. Being right next to my house, this gets me through a lot of days.
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.
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.
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.
Star And Garter, Montpelier
It was too silly to ignore. So, so Bristol.
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.
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.
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.