Upfest didn’t happen this year. In fact after 10 straight successful outings, Europe’s biggest street art festival took a well deserved break.
That didn’t mean that the art stopped though. The team at Upfest have been commissioning a series of bespoke murals to appear throughout the summer. Festival favourites such as My Dog Sighs, Bex Glover, Cheo and Jody Thomas all took part alongside a host of others. The result being to create a fresh new series of works in an area now famous for its street art.
My Dog Sighs and Curtis Hylton – The Rising Sun, Windmill Hill
A collaboration between two fine artists. My Dog Sighs, a regular painting at Upfest and Curtis Hylton a first timer painting under the banner. We wrote about this mural a bit more extensively here. The eyes are of course by My Dog and the surrounding flora and fauna is by Hylton.
Bex Glover – Souk Kitchen, North Street / Raleigh Road
Festival favourite and local artist Bex Glover created this tiger on the wall of the Souk Kitchen. on the corner of North Street and Raleigh Road. Often used to hosting murals, this wall changes quite a bit and is often used as part of Upfest. Bex has painted at a number of Upfest murals in the past and it looks like her walls are getting ever bigger.
Jody Thomas – Tobacco Factory, North Street
Possibly the most famous piece of street art in Bristol at the moment. The giant mural of Greta Thunberg by local artist Jody has been getting a lot of attention. The wall on the side of the Tobacco Factory overlooking Aldi has become the main wall of the festival so the art here is always top drawer. The only problem is that as the main wall it means that the art generally needs to rotate and so come the next Upfest, this will probably be gone. We wrote more about this particular mural earlier in the year in this post here.
Dale Grimshaw – North Street
Famed for his murals depicting indigenous peoples of West Papua. Dale Grimshaws latest work in Bristol takes a prime spot overlooking North Street. From Blackburn originally Grimshaw ihas been a regular visitor to Upfest over the years.
L7Matrix & Paul Monsters – The Spotted Cow, North Street
A collaboration between L7matrix and local artist Paul Monsters. From Brazil originally, L7m has made a name for himself particularly with his drawings of birds surrounded by wisps of colour. Monsters meanwhile specialises in the geometric patterns and shapes you see here. Painted on the side of the Spotted Cow pub on North Street. The venue has been a regular supporter of the Upfest festival.
Zoe Power & Gemma Compton – North Street
Joining a longer standing piece from Gemma Compton, local artist Zoe Power has added to the facade overlooking North Street. Next to the Upfest gallery itself, Power’s work now sits above Zara’s Chocolates. An illustrator with a bold graphic style, ‘the mural is called ‘Let’s build our future together’. According to Powers Instagram she “wanted the piece to remind us all that our actions and decisions can direct how we create this world. With a climate emergency in our hands, the need to work together from the bottom up has never been greater.”
Andy Council – Creative Space, North Street
Andy Council’s latest work sits on the top of Creative Space on North Street. Another local artist he is well known to fans of the local scene and a regular at Upfest. His illustrative style incorporates urban scenes into fantastical creatures which roam around the wall.
Irony – Hen & Chicken, Greville Road
A massively popular artist, Irony’s work can be seen all around the North Street area courtesy of several previous Upfest festivals. This latest piece which he entitles ‘self portrait’ adds to that collection. Nearby you can also see his ‘quizzical pigeon’ and his ‘cat and mouse’.
Copyright – Hen & Chicken, Greville Road
Local artist Copyright created this portrait with hair fashioned into the style of what appears to be a Hokusai wave. Known for this graphic portraits and paste ups. The artist is another well known to the Upfest and Bristol scenes.
In a spot notoriously difficult to photograph without cars blocking the view, Nick Harvey’s Space Tiger has become a local hit. Set against a cosmic backdrop the endangered Bengali Tiger stares at a woman in the stars. His work looks at the shared environments which humans and animals share especially in cities.
Goin – North Street
French stencil artist Goin’s piece ‘Add to Cart‘ is a satirical look at consumerism. The piece has a religious feel and is drawn with a nod to the old masters. It is perhaps a commentary on the thought that the acquisition of things is now the new religion.
My Dog Sighs
Another piece from My Dog Sighs sits underneath the work from Goin. Featuring his famous eye it’s an addition to the piece he created on Windmill Mill.
The North Street area of Bristol was visited in June and November 2019. The pictures shown were taken between those dates. We have written previously about the murals by My Dog Sighs and Curtis Hylton on Windmill Hill and the Greta Thunberg mural by Jody on the Tobacco Factory.