Downhill Art Walk On A Stormzy Day. Street Art In Bristol’s West End?

Update: Wow! This Bristol Banksy changed from my photo on Friday 23rd Feb to reports of tagging on Saturday 24th Feb 2018.

A35F38AC-1878-4A65-9B35-FB6CCAFF063EStormzy had just won best male solo artist at the Brit awards 2018 and I have been humming ‘Blinded by Your Grace’ since I first heard it. It was a happy day, not Sunny, but happy. Some says Bristol is a divided city, and maybe the street art scene is a part of it? Walking around in this posh part of the city, makes you think about a city with wealthy roots and proper, fine art, and Clifton suspension bridge. And this time I had to walk far to find anything at all, anything slightly street artistic that is.

28F46D02-4553-4062-A2F0-111D0258F3D8.jpegFirst, the Water Tower 💦  A Bristol landmark, especially for the locals. (Straight ahead in the distance in this photo.) A good starting point for exploring Bristol as a local, a tourist or simply an “arty farty” person. Surrounded by the city’s big green space, The Downs – this is an excellent start for any walk, a picnic, a snack and a coffee (‘Cafe Retreat’ to the left of the tower). My walk goes down Whiteladies road -Queen’s Road- Park Street where I hunt primarily for street art. Continuing my journey from Gloucester rd. The guaranteed reward is that there is a Banksy or two on this route as well.

I head off down town. (For those of you preferring to walk downhill, this walk is definitely a downhill walk all the way, taking you from The Downs to The Harbourside and inner gem of Bristol city if you want.) But 1st, a toilet pit stop in the Water Tower cafe🤭


Cross the roads when you see Intersport, a shop loved by us Norwegians (important fact!), and you are on the right track, Whiteladies road. Basically follow this road all the way down the hill. And down, and down. You can go all the way down to the waterfront.


The first slightly street arty I could find was inside this pub… I was getting impatient. Then Better Food came up!

After that, only the Angry tags, not the beauty of it! Yet.


I had to take a pic of this, and it is the name of a Bristol band, Google says. The print looks arty to me!


Drip Fed Empire, an experimental duo fusing electronic music and heavy metal. Interesting Bristol based Performing Arts!

Further down a similar style and writing on the wall appears:


I pass Bristol Museum and Art Gallery in Queen’s rd, where Banksy’s ‘Paint Pot Angel’ is supposed to be, but I cannot find it. The street art..? I ask inside the museum and yes, it is just inside the building:



Banksy, 2009: From ‘Bansky versus Bristol Museum’

FE3585B0-6ECB-487B-BFF0-1FCB0EA51578Park Street is coming alive in front of this monumental building as you come back out of the museum. I recommend a glance to the left as a new street-vibe comes alive.


From here we cross over by the lights and dive into the descending Park Street. And pictures arise from the skyline, finally!




And after a couple of tea pots! I head down to the Naked Man and ‘Well Hung Lover’.


Street artist Banksy has put his mark on this side of Bristol as well! Rumours have suggested he went to Bristol Cathedral School by College Green, the green space behind you as you see the Naked Man Hanging From Window. Actually the road below looks pretty interesting:


I am on top of the bridge, I don’t plan to go under the bridge and from here there are lots of great routes around the city and down to the Harbourside of Bristol (not even five minutes away). A Fish & Chips restaurant is just around the corner #catch22bristol. For me, the harbourside walk will have to wait as I am heading back up the hill for a cake and a coffee at #pinkmans #parkstreet      I didn’t regret it! Donut heaven.


Lastly, I want to mention that on this route you’ll find the RWA – Royal West of England Academy of Art – with lots of interesting exhibitions in their gallery – right now “Women with Vision” is on. A celebration of the British women’s suffrage and build up to International Women’s Day!  I plan to visit, just not on a street art, Stormzy kinda day 🙂 Next time it’s RWA I shall pay a visit and “A celebration of women in British art- past, present and future.”


Counterproductive Schools For Girls? And Other Differences #RoyalVisitNorway


After five years in England and today Celebrating the #RoyalVisitNorway from my computer desk in Bristol, I have tried to sum up what I have experienced so far as major differences between the two countries, Norway and Great Britain:

1. The Posh Accent Exclusion Method- it’s all in the accent!

The really posh has a specific accent that makes others shed away. That’s how they keep the good expensive schools to themselves for example. It is a self referring, self excluding mechanism kicking in as you choose school for your little ones. Being brought up in a Norwegian and much more egalitarian society, I have refused these norms and am sending my kids to private school even if I live in a house worth just over £450000 (which probably isn’t much for most middle class and upper class families at many of these schools). In Norway we have dialects. Some are seen as less academic and more hillbilly, but ‘Janteloven’ stops us from thinking you are any better than others, or deserve better schooling… But if the better schools are out there, and they are private; Then you go for it!

2. The Gender Code!

It’s 5 degrees Celsius and girls walking to school in really short school Uniform skirts and bare legs! Liberating! At the same time girl schools are absolutely alive in the UK, three within a 10 minutes drive from where I live (two private, one non-feepaying) and with a strong message of girl power! “Girls Can” campaigns are also fully active – something we used to have in Norway in the 80s according to political commentator Marie Simonsen. But are they stuck in the past?

3. Working for Free, especially women

Lots of Mums looking after kids first 2-3 years as Kindergarten/Nurseries are not subsidzed in the same way as in Norway and a full time space for one child per month costs more like £1000/10000Nkr. Compared to the £250 per child in Norway, for everyone! Volunteer organisations with people working free take on loads of the responsibilities and work that in Norway would be viewed as what you pay tax towards, and from this perspective should be organised and the responsibility of The State/Public Services. Food bank collections in grocery shops daily and people living on the streets.

4. Class, Class, Class

We have all heard about the British Class Society, but as I moved here- I seriously didn’t realise to what extent. I brought a cake tin (with a cake in it!) to the Community farm where I was helping out, and they commented on it: Very Posh! It was from John Lewis. The differences between classes are so big that they culturally and socially vary in taste, accents etc etc and just don’t interact too well. Everyone feels better off in their own little bubble. Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees told in a trailer for a forthcoming film about his way into politics, how his Mother as born into a working class area of Bristol, working as a hairdresser and marrying his Jamaican Father – had a background that really didn’t mean he would end up as Mayor of Bristol!! I don’t think anything should stop a child of a hairdresser in Norway – neither financially nor culturally.

5. A Country’s self-image


«What should I read to my child at home?» I asked my child’s teacher. My girl was four. «Just read ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ and things like that,» she replied. Hmm.. had I heard of ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ before? No. Had my Norwegian primary school teacher friend heard of it? No.

Similarly, both Norway and Great Britain think of ourselves as naturally the centre of the world. Norwegians as the outdoorsy, Sunday walkers and skiers. The British as Great(er). You come to the airport. You wait for your passport to be checked and whilst queuing you can read on the screen that you are welcome to: Great Britain. I even think «great» was written in capital letters last time I entered.

As one of my first English friends stated in our teenage years, wanting to go into the music industry: “If you make it in Norway, you’re big in Norway. Do you make it here, you will be big in the World!” In Norway on the other hand, we all believe we can do what Jens Stoltenberg has done, learning to read and write late, leading the Labour party and then go on to lead NATO! (A friend just pointed out that his parents were not a hairdresser and a ‘lagermedarbeider’, alright then, but look to FrP now in government. Surely there are plenty of hairdressser mums and dads there.)

My kids’ teachers still don’t realise that in Norway historic periods are not sectioned after the British Empire’s Kings and Queens. But alright, most Norwegians would know about the Victorians and what that implies, but Edwardian, Georgian…what is it? History at Primary School was entirely focused upon British Monarchs. Also the «don’t mention the war»- jokes are more common than anything negative or slightly comical about the Empire – which they are partly proud of here, I think🤔