The Six Sisters are a series of murals on North Street in Bedminster, Bristol. Painted above the facade of a row of shops the murals have each been painted by a different Bristol based street artist. Overlooking North Street in the Bedminster area of the city, they have been supported by the Upfest Gallery.
Bedminster and North Street is of course well known for being the centrepoint of Upfest. This is the giant street art festival which takes over the south of the city. It’s the biggest street art festival in Europe and the result is a real legacy of street art in the area. The Upfest Gallery sits at the heart of North Street and therefore at the heart of the festival. Plans for the 2020 and 2021 events have been seriously affected as a result of the pandemic. Though that hasn’t stopped a number of individual murals from being painted.
Bristol Based Artists
Each of the artists who have painted as part of the six sisters are Bristol based. The name of the six sisters has taken its inspiration from the states. There a terrace of beautiful old colonial painted houses have been named the Painted Ladies. All different colours they’ve become a popular backdrop for photographs in an age before social media. The six sisters get their name as they serve a similar purpose. Striking as a backdrop they are also notable in that all the artists are women.
The Six Sisters Murals of Bristol
Known for her abstract depictions of the natural world. Bex Glover is an illustrator and street artist who has often contributed to Upfest. Her mural is called ‘Stronger Together‘ and sits atop of ‘Like Sew Amazing’. The third of the six sisters to be completed. It features an natural scene with two golden foxes set against a green background. It’s a colour palette Bex often uses in her work and it’s given her street work a distinctive feel. At the time this wall was the biggest that Bex had attempted and her first working with scaffolding.
Painted during May 2021, Lucas Antics is an artist known for her colourful fun murals. For the six sisters mural in Bristol she’s painted a number of finely coiffured poodles. It’s time to “paws and reflect on the wonder of the Oodles of Poodles mural” she says on her her instagram account. Prancing around the wall they are playing amidst a red backdrop with blue clouds and yellow flowers. In the corner a cheesed off looking pug is clearly wondering what’s going on. The mural sits atop of the Oowe diner on North Street and was the final piece to be created as part of the six sisters project.
Called ‘Let’s Build our Future Together’, Zoe Power’s mural was the second to be painted and sits above Zaras Chocolates. Officially it was part of the Upfest Summer Editions. This was an initiative designed to keep street art in the area happening during what was intended to be a fallow year for Upfest. That was in October 2019 and the festival was originally planned to return in 2020. Because of the pandemic that never happened and so one fallow year turned into three. With a theme inspired by the climate emergency the piece is a reflection on how our actions and decisions can direct how we create the world. “With a climate emergency on our hands” says Zoe. “the need to work together from the bottom up has never been greater”.
The mural by Gemma Compton was the first of the six sisters to be painted. Created in 2016 the shopfront it sits above is the Upfest Gallery itself. For a number of years it was alone on the terrace. Eventually joined by the work from Zoe Power which now sits next to it in 2019. Gemma Compton’s work is known for it’s use of blue hues and her piece certainly makes use of those. Recognisable imagery across her work is also utilised in her mural. Roses, anchors, birds and butterflies are also images she regularly paints and all are included. In many ways the work from Gemma set the bar in terms of the standard across the subsequent works.
Painted in August 2020 Sophie Long’s bee mural is the fourth mural to be painted as part of Bristol’s six sisters. Filled with bright splashes of colour, the bees circle around the building. Her work often focuses on the natural world and the painting of bees is one of her favourite topics. A number of the bees are fading and you can see the background through them. This recognises the danger that bees in general find themselves as their population numbers keep dropping. The mural can be found above South West Upholstery on North Street.
An artist known for her bright coloured curious characters which brighten up your world. That’s the description Ejits gives her work and it’s not hard to see why. Her mural as part of the six sisters in Bristol was the fifth to go up during March 2021 and is also the largest. It shows three of her characters boogying on down the street grooving to a kind of unconfirmed beat. It’s just some pure fun which finishes the series of murals in this part of North Street nicely.
The Six Sisters are a series of murals which can be found on North Street in Bristol. They have been supported by Upfest and include street art from Bex Glover, Lucas Antics, Zoe Power, Gemma Compton, Sophie Long and Ejit.