Bristol Street art

Policemen with riot shields fighting a teddy bear

Bristol is famous for its street art. It is after all the home of Banksy.  In inner Bristol graffiti adorns  shop fronts, back alleys underpasses and almost any available surface. Some older residents regret the invention of the spray paint can  but tourists love discovering hidden gems. I have grown to appreciate it and it certainly brightens up our drab city streets.

This week we met at the Full Moon in Stokes Croft for a photo tour of some of the street art of East Bristol and I thought I would share some of my favourite pieces. Stokes Croft is an area of Bristol which is rapidly undergoing gentrification with lots of independent shops and music venues. It is practically an open air art gallery with pieces constantly being replaced.

Banksy

Banksy is the most famous of the Bristol street artists. Although a lot of Bristolians think they know his identity Banksy prefers to remain anonymous. Most people agree that he grew up in Bristol and attended a local youth club where youngsters were encouraged to develop their artistic talent.  His early paintings were hand drawn but now he uses a stencil. In recent years he has had a solo exhibition in Bristol museum and created an alternative theme park Dismal land at Weston Super Mare. He has become respectable. Last year  one of his paintings of chimpanzees in parliament  sold for nine million pounds at auction. The top photo is the mild mild west and can be seen above the Cantine in Stokes Croft. The mural below, the well hung lover is in Frogmore Street and is best viewed from the bridge on Park Street. There are several other pieces by Banksy waiting to be discovered.

The husband has returned home early and is looking out of the window while the wife's lover clings to the window ledge.
The well hung lover

This is probably Banksy’s best known work and is on the side of what used to be the sexual health clinic. For a recent light up Bristol event local artists were asked to imagine what was happening in the other windows.

Banksy the well hung lover with activities at the other windows Bristol street art
Light up Bristol 2020

The seven saints of St. Pauls

The st. Paul’s area of Bristol was transformed with the arrival  of immigrants from the Carribean. Although they met with a lot of prejudice to begin with they have settled and formed a community.  A local artist Michele Curtis was inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of the St. Paul’s carnival in 2018 to create portraits of seven of the founders of the carnival who helped shape the community. The results are striking. Bristol was heavily involved in the slave trade so it is good to feel that black history is being celebrated.

A portrait of Audley Evans on the side of a house
Audley Evans
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Another of the St. Paul’s saints

In the area around Stokes Croft there are dozens of paintings

A mural on the side of a house Bristol street art
Just an ordinary house
A mural covers the side of this house
A Victorian end terrace updated
The house is decorated with pictures of cows and other farmyard creatures #Bristol street art
This house used to be a cow byre.
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An estate agency

If you wish to find out more about organised walking tours of Bristol Street art or Banksy tours click here Bristol street art walking tours 

There is so much to see that it is probably better to just grab your camera and wander round the streets for a couple of hours.

Author: Anne Fraser

Hi, I am Anne, I am a retired nurse from Bristol in South West England. I am married with five grown up children, four boys and a girl , a grandson and a cat. I like History, travel and reading. I hope to connect with other people with similar interests.

6 thoughts on “Bristol Street art”

  1. I know some people hate it, but some of the street art is just so much talent, Banksy aside, whom I something think is overhyped, there are some people who just are super talented. In London we have some beautiful parts full of street art, especially around Brick Lane and it is almost a pleasure to look at it x

  2. It has been so long since I visited Bristol and when I do I am going to do a street art tour for sure – Love IT!!!

  3. So much cool stuff, some very talented artists out there! I’ve seen the Well Hung Lover one myself a few years ago, and I love what they’ve done here for the light up event by imagining what might be going on in the other windows. Thanks for sharing this, really enjoyed your photos!
    Caz xx

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