An Introduction to Graffiti and Street Art in Bristol

So, here you are in Bristol then, home of the infamous Banksy, and you probably fancy seeing a bit of work by the city’s most notorious son. Well, sorry to disappoint, but he moved to London years ago and apart from a piece at the bottom of Park Street and another opposite the BRI, along with a few scattered and faded stencils here and there, there’s not a lot left of him here. But that really doesn’t matter. Banksy didn’t happen in a vacuum, and the city’s stuffed full of graffiti and street art by tons of other artists, some of whom you may even prefer.

Many artists have come and gone in Bristol over the years. It all started off with people like 3D (yes, the white guy out of Massive Attack), Inkie, and Nick Walker back in the 80’s. They were influenced by graf scenes in New York and they in turn influenced a generation of artists like Banksy here in the 90’s. A decade on and now they have influenced the new crop of artists and writers you will see high and low across Bristol. Graffiti art is now more popular than ever and Bristol harbours an amazingly fertile, energetic and inventive scene, a scene which has seen a small city in the Westcountry gain world wide recognition.

As well as 3D, Inkie and Nick Walker, lot of Bristol’s reputation has long been based around the internationally famous TCF (Twentieth Century Frescoes) crew, featuring greats such as Paris, Dicy, Xenz, Eco, Ziml, Feek, Seza, Acer, Aji and K148. The Junction 3 roundabout of the M32 is never a bad place to hunt for TCF walls and you can see a big new Paris piece down by the Nova Scotia Pub in Cumberland Basin, whilst a Xenz telephone line covered in beautiful birds is hidden away at the bottom of Ninetree Hill.

Other people to watch out for include the members of the What? Collective, Richt, Sums, Sainty and 45RPM (you’ll see his big colourful owls around the Gloucester Road especially). Also going right along Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road, you can see the former Clockwork nightclub and the Golden Lion pub, both completely covered in huge works by the likes of 3Dom, Magic and Voyder.

A few places which bring all of this work together are Dean Lane skate park in Bedminster, painted and repainted by all sorts of names almost weekly and ‘The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft’ project has ensured that that area is now always covered in pieces by street artists from Bristol and beyond. Check out the long hoardings on Jamaica Street particularly which are repainted every month.

Also worth checking out is Weapon of Choice, a live painting night organised once a month by well known graf artist Cheba down at Mr Wolf’s where two or three artists collaborate to paint a large piece accompanied by live acts and DJs.

Ultimately though, there’s more graffiti and street art in Bristol than one article could ever cover and this one’s barely scratched the surface. There’s more on the blog we run about Bristol graffiti and street art, but the best thing to do is get yourself out there, take some photos and learn more about it from exploring the city. If you do fancy photographing or writing about it yourself then get in touch, because we’re always looking for new writers and photographers for the blog as well. Happy hunting!

Ronnie Jotun
Read Bristol Graffiti, the daily blog on Bristol street art at:
http://bristolgraffiti.wordpress.com

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One Response to “An Introduction to Graffiti and Street Art in Bristol”

  1. brennA Says:

    ♥andalism …. great!

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