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.”


An Art Walk Down Gloucester Road


Gloucester Road in Bristol has a lot to offer. It is known for it’s myriad of independent shops, coffee shops, buzz and street art. Of course the icing on the cake on this particular walk is Banksy’s ‘Mild mild west’ by Stokes Croft – Hamilton House. But they are there, so many great artists! Happy for any name droppping in the comments btw. Especially the graffiti animals caught my attention this time: Dogs, ants, fish and other sea creatures, hares and rabbits, a crocodile, a lion king and tigers.  I have had a great day and spent around 2-3 hours gazing at the sun and strolling along. Not that the sunlight goes exceptionally well with taking photos on my phone, but hey! It works. I started thinking I would include every singel graffiti I found on my route from (N)EVIL RD to STOKES CROFT, but photo space and loading permitted, I had to change my perspective and make a selection based on mainly the photo quality on my mobile device. It would be cool with an album including them ALL. For now, this is what I have and some more on Instagram:







I couldn’t decide which one was the better artwork by Shaun Sepr. A shame with that car! Well, this is where I started my walk, by Boston Tea Party in Bishopston or maybe someone would call it Horfield. Sunshine, hope and chill in the air. Just like I like it. Even the local prison looks gorgeous in the sun ☀️



Then the journey starts…  I will let the photos speak for themselves. I am not knowledgeable about street art or any art, really. As a Norwegian I know my Munch – and similar to Munch; these pictures speak! They are briefly in chronological order as I walked. Enjoy the walk!





The old police station letters had something arty about them!


Side street photo shoots.



Owl! Ugle!


This ant is fabulous! #zase #zasedesign


1/3 of Norwegian cod is exported to Great Britain! Yum! Nam!






Is this the same artist as the ant one above?? Similar style. #zase #zasedesign


The shops are definitely adopting the graffiti style!



And a Primary School graffiti! Go Dolphin Primary School.

Here you can choose to take a small turn down towards Montpelier Health Centre and find an early Banksy and Inky piece “Take the money and run!” 🏃🏻‍♀️ 🏃‍♂️


Back to the main road on this trail and where Gloucester Rd continues into Cheltenham road…

Then suddenly rabbits and hares were popular animals.


The Community spirit and campaigning kicking in as I get close to Stokes Croft and Hamilton House. Latter is campaigning not to be closed down #SaveHamiltonHouse


A female artist #misshazard had started on this piece in golden just as I walked past. I will keep an eye on that Golden Circle.







Breakdancing Jesus #CosmoSarson


Mild mild west #banksy





925F9A6A-D5C3-4325-8E02-C5538EF09403This is where my journey stopped. Iconic.

Street Art Or Graffiti, Is It Vandalism Or Therapy?

Banksy is compulsory for anyone living in or visiting Bristol. For my own sake, his art hit me right in my belly (maybe a Norwegian expression, but you get what I mean). In other words; Whacked me in the gut! Walking around Bristol activates a real explosion of artistic feeling and emotion. It all bubbles up and comes to the surface – as art. And of course it’s political, and Banksy has it all in my opinion.

I didn’t really know Banksy before I came to Bristol. Of course I recognised his work, but it was mind blowing and impressive to walk around the streets and see it everywhere! From searching a bit on the net I figured that he (I think it’s a man) had visited Bergen and even left a street art behind. But Bergen kommune (council) had got it removed. What a shame, twenty or so years later and millions and billions of fans, fame and fortune.

This one is by graffiti artist #Inkie! Also known as one of Banksy’s early collaborators.

A30E07E9-067C-4715-8662-416E067D8DEDI have decided, I’m gonna search for Banky’s last work and learn about the graffiti scene of Bristol… and my starting point was just here in St Michael’s Hill, an area (Cotham) rumours say he might have grown up even. So, is street art and graffiti just annoyingly vandalism or is it maybe therapy for the fallen. This is quoted from two graffiti paintings either side of the street where I was standing just now. (None of which are supposed to be Banksy art by the way, the street art scene in Bristol is huge.) I seem to think it is a reaction to something and that it should be taken seriously. It is serious! Even here in Bristol with lots of street art, graffiti or whatever you choose to call it, it stands out from the let’s call it «exterior of the city». It screams! It’s in your face. And it is painful, beautiful and strongly speaking to you – that’s what makes it a bit painful as well, more to come….

I went into this pub just below the ‘vandalism’ graffiti and the lady in the bar could tell me that she did’t know who had done it and..: »Sorry, it’s not a Banksy, I’m afraid». And now, in May 2018, couple of months after I wrote this piece: I’m pretty sure the artist is Nick Walker.