Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. - Oscar Wilde
Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things
Today we’re doing the train up to Birmingham, and with Young Master Crow coming in to meet up with us last night, we delayed our big tour of the street art until today since he and I are both huge fans of the genre.
After a bit of breakfast at one of the ubiquitous Costas near the hotel we set off in search of Banksy. Mrs Crow and I had found a few of them yesterday in the M-Shed and near Spike Island so we dragged the young man down there to start our pilgrimage.Since Young Master Crow’s phone’s direction cone works far better than mine (it actually points the correct way) he led the way out and onwards to the next and subsequent pieces.
Now until Bristol, we hadn’t really had to contend with hills. That changd with a vengeance today. One of the pieces, The Rose Trap, is under plexi on a wall which is great. It is up a very steep hill, which is not so great. The fortunate bit is that just a little tad further up the hill is a life-saver of a tiny park where we sat under a tree to regain our breath and legs.
By that time we’d been wandering around Stokes Croft for a bit already and, unlike the rest of the city, street art was everywhere. I’m not exaggerating, either! Turn a corner, there’s a wall of it. Get a bit down a street and turn about for another persepective and find one you almost missed. Look up a building and there’s something you could’ve walked right by. It was a dream!
I’d studied my street art app last night and was able to recognize some of the art or artists and was like a cat with three mice in a bucket (pronounced boo-kay, but that’s another story for a few days from now).
Cheo, Chinagirl, Nick Walker, Cheba, Tom Miller, Sweet Toof, Banksy, and more. I should list them all, really, there were just so many! Mrs Crow is the photographer of us, but I still took over 60 pictures along the journey! There was so much that in some cases I just took a picture down the alley way to at least show the expanse of quality artwork along our way.
When I’d planned our trip to the UK and decided on the stop in Bristol just for Banksy (and Bristol Blue Glass) I wasn’t sure what we’d find – if we’d just have looong walks between Banksy’s bits, or what, but this around six mile walk made this stop so worthwhile I just can’t express it properly.
Between the Mrs and I we have a sh*t-ton of pictures and I will very likely add many of them at the tail end of this post even after it’s published, so if you love street art as much as I do, check back over the next several days. We’re hitting the Welsh coast late next week and I should have the time to get caught up with the posts themselves and finish adding and captioning pics on this one.
As mentioned yesterday, I’m running a day behind in my posts. I won’t however berate you about it today, although spewing Shakespearean insults does hold a certain appeal.
Just prior to our transition from Salisbury to Bristol we took a ramble around the insides of the Salisbury Cathedral. Mrs Crow believes the Cathedral deserves a post all on it’s own and I tend to agree. That noted, I may delay that post a bit or things may get even more out of order! Yeah, tough, deal with it.
Anyways, yesterday we trained up from Salisbury to Bristol. The express reason for our short stay in Bristol is the street art. I’ve always had a fascination and love for graffiti art and Bristol is probably the premier city in the UK for it. Banksy is from here after all.
There is a huge difference between ‘tagging’ that is generally for asserting ownership on a turf, spreading one’s name/’nym, or simple defacement. Street art is artistic expression on unusual and public canvases, sometimes iteracting with the canvas medium itself. (using a pole or grating as part of the art, for example) Some is just beautiful art, but much of the best graffiti art pokes fun at icons and society and/or comments on the absurdities of people or politics.
Banksy has the great talent of using known art or icons and juxtaposing, including, or altering a bit of it to make a satirical point. It looks easy, but it’s assuredly not.
Well, that primarily, but Bristol is a hub of art and artists here in the UK. We’ll be checking out a museum or two, but we’ll be looking more for local artist’s shops, glass and pottery, and of course, about anything sprayed on walls.
We’re rather fortunate in a sense to be installed in a hotel right next to a huge mirrored ball which we found to be a planetarium attached to We The Curious, which is likely more geared to kids, but hey, I’ve got a huge lot of curiousity in reserve so it will be a good place to burn some off so I don’t go wandering into someone’s flat or something.
During our first evening’s ramble we stumbled upon Banksy’s Well Hung Lover completely by accident. As I’ve said, Mrs Crow and I tend to happen upon wonderful things quite unexpectedly. Looking at it, I couldn’t help but wonder how he did it. The piece is perhaps 15 or 20 feet up a wall, even with a road overpass about the same distance away. It’s unfortunate it has been defaced slightly with someone splattering a few blobs of blue paint on it.
Right nearby is a beautifully colorful and large untitled piece by 3Dom. An aside, both of these pieces are on Frogmore Street, a place we’d intended to visit simply on the strength of Mrs Crow being rather partial to frogs. (if you saw our home you’d say that she was inordinately partial to them, but that’s another story entirely.)
We also came across The Florist by Jody. It’s really rather large and takes up most of the side of a building above th roof of a low adjacent storefront.
Returning to our hotel we walked into Millenium Square from a different direction and found two pieces on the wall of We The Curious, one titled Climate Change Mural by Anna Higgie and an untitled painting of a bee by ATM.
Now, rather than tell you I’m deeply knowledgeable about street art and artists, I only found out the titles and artists via a cool little app called (drum roll please) Street Art. It covers Bristol and only a few other cities, but it’s free and perfect for my needs here.
On our single full day in Bristol, we’ll look for some street art, but widen our vision to include local art and glass!