Where The Wall; shining a light on Bristol’s eclectic urban art.
For breathing life and colour into our city’s urban landscape, Bristol’s street artists must surely be treasured. With spray can, paintbrush, stencil and endless imagination, they turn our heads, make us think and even — in many cases — inspire us to have a go ourselves.
Urban art events such as 2011’s See No Evil and the annual Upfest gathering shine a light on Bristol’s street art scene, attracting resident artists and many others from across the globe. Popular local names like Cheo, Gemma Compton, Jody, Banksy, Sepr, Inkie and Angus ring bells for many people, but scratch the surface and there’s a bottomless pool of further talent to discover. For these people, walls are blank canvasses for ephemeral works which only last until the next artist comes along. And therein lies the beauty.
Street art tours with Where the Wall
Where the Wall is a Bristol-based street art walking tour company, allowing participants into the secretive world of urban art. During their tours, groups are led by knowledgeable guides and introduced to diverse pieces of street art old and new. Along the way, the guides share insight into the works’ back-story and significance.
On my tour, Tina led us from Banksy’s famous Well Hung Lover on College Green to Frogmore St — currently home to What Collective’s comic-inspired piece and JPS’ The Big Deal from 2014. From here we headed through Bell Lane and Nelson Street to Stik’s popular stick men and Pixel Pancho’s Mechanical Griffin — both painted for 2011’s See No Evil event.
After a short stomp, we entered Stokes Croft — a living canvas in its own right — to be introduced to Cosmo Sarson’s iconic Breakdancing Jesus and Banksy’s Mild Mild West. Both pieces have been in place for quite some time, perhaps striking strong chords among the area’s residents and visitors.
Throughout the tour, Tina shared her insight and knowledge of the street art and its talented creators. We learned hidden details about popular pieces people pass every day, and discovered secret works hidden in plain sight.
If you’re reading this and you’re keen to know more about Bristol’s skilled urban artists, you can find Tina and Where The Wall right here. Aside from the tours, Where the Wall run spray sessions and creative projects where groups of budding artists can practise new skills and techniques. From school children to corporate groups all are welcome, and sessions are run with the aim of promoting Bristol’s street art and creative culture.
For details on some of the street artists covered on the tour:
- What Collective
- Pixel Pancho
- Cosmo Sarson — including some interesting shots of Breakdancing Jesus in production.
For more Bristol-based street art writing by @cjcallaghan, check out ‘sketching an impression of the Bristol street art scene’ and ’10 street artists to catch at upfest’.