I hope everyone’s had a lovely start to the weekend? The weather here is glorious so I’ve been out enjoying the sunshine and soaking it all up before the predictable West Country weather undoubtedly returns.
I thought for my latest Beautiful Bristol I’d focus on something that the city is renown for, our street art / graffiti. As the home of Banksy, arguably the artist who successfully turned what used to be considered vandalism into an art form, Bristol is full of stunning street art. Every area of the city has colourful walls with political messages, Banksy inspired designs and beautiful murals.
I’ve deliberately not included any Banksy because we’ve all seen those haven’t we? So instead, join me for a little walk around the city to see some of my recent favourites. Remember: street art doesn’t hang around for long so when you see it snap it, because pretty soon someone will spray over it.
Our mini-tour starts on Park Row at the entrance of the Christmas Steps Arts Quarter, one of my favourite parts of the city with some of my favourite art shops. Thanks to the delights on offer in this area I’ve managed to decorate a lot of my living room walls with colourful local art, and lighten my bank balance too! This colourful peacock mural appeared a few weeks ago to announce to passers by the area they’ve entered. It’s created by the wonderfully talented Alex Lucas, a local artist who’s done many colourful murals.
If you turn around you’ll see this mural, one of my favourites in the city as it’s an homage to my beloved Bowie. This one is slightly contentious as it certainly looks like a Banksy, and is in fact painted over the same wall where there used to be a Banksy. However, he’s never claimed it as his own so many think it’s just a copycat.
We’re now about to enter the Bearpit, the huge underpass and sunken roundabout that separates Stokes Croft from the city centre. It’s been regenerated and now hosts a double decker ‘Burrito Bus’, a coffee shop, greengrocers as well as tonnes of street food and live music pop ups. It’s a really vibrant, interesting part of the city, and I love that my balcony looks out onto it. This stunning galaxy graffiti is just behind the Bristol Bus station as you walk down the steps to get to the Bearpit underpass. There’s a few bits of galaxy graffiti around Bristol, including the famous space scene on the side of the Full Moon bar, it’s some of my favourite art to look at.
Next is this politically charged piece: ‘never was so much taken from so many by so few’ there’s a lot of political art in the Bearpit and it also tends to be and end point for many rallies and marches including a recent one to save the NHS. Don’t expect to hear or see much praise of David Cameron around here.
Speaking of the Full Moon, here she is:
Now we’re walking up Cheltenham Road into Stokes Croft, arguable the street art capital of Bristol and certainly one of it’s most colourful neighbourhoods. The below bunny was recently painted by Alex Lucas on the shutters of the Stokes Croft Vintage Market.
Back onto Cheltenham Road now and this neon mural gives me serious 80s and 90s vibes, I love it!
Next up we have the famous lady of Stokes Croft mural, I’ve lived in Bristol a few years now and can’t remember her not being here so I’m pretty sure she’s a local favourite.
As we carry on up the road this colourful mural goes down a side street:
I love this graphic black and white number: This neon mural to advertise an upcoming art show was one of my faves, it’s on the side of the Bakery a fabulous tiny pop-up bakery that sells the best savoury pastries. This wall gets changed up really regularly so sadly this display didn’t last long.
See? As yellow is my favourite colour I don’t mind this new mural though.
Now we’ll take a right to head down Picton Street, one of the most charming little streets in the city a great spot for food! Here’s another Alex Lucas piece:
And opposite this colourful decorated house:
Then we wonder down to Brunswick Square, heading towards the centre, this was taken last year during a graffiti festival when artists were invited to cover boards surrounding building work.
Hope you enjoyed this little mini-tour, this was very Stokes Croft centric but there are tonnes of other spots for graffiti fans in the city, there’s even organised street art tours you can take. Hope you all have a lovely rest of your weekend!
Love, Sarah x