Bristol has come to be known as the street art capital of the UK. Historically home to great artists, Bristol’s graffiti has become less vandalism, more masterpiece, and it’s little wonder that city attracts the most talented of street artists. Even the local government and community groups in Bristol have come to support this colorful trend, seeing it as a positive, albeit quirky addition to their environment. This summer the city played host to the See No Evil urban art exhibition, which saw one of Bristol’s major city streets absolutely transformed by graffiti with the support of the Arts Council.
Several Bristol based tour guides offer organized walking tours to some of the most famous murals as well as many of Banksy’s earliest, hidden artworks around the city. However, any street art enthusiast can set out on foot, camera in hand, and happen upon breathtaking artwork by happy accident. That said, there are a few pieces not to miss.
If you’re undertaking your own walking tour Bristol’s street art, why not start by admiring the recent work on Nelson Street? There you’ll find the inspiring art of the See No Evil crew. No longer a derelict eyesore, Nelson Street is now a bright, whimsical, outdoor gallery.
Stokes Croft, the self-proclaimed cultural quarter in Bristol offers an impressive streetscape as well. A collective called The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft encourages and facilitates street art in the neighborhood, maintaining a list of places preapproved for street art use. Artists such as Stik and Kaione have made their mark on Stokes Croft.
The boards running along Bristol’s floating harbor west of Prince Street Bridge has also become a street art gallery of sorts. Take a walk along the water to see ever-changing work by artists including Cheo and Mr. Jago.
Of course, no street art tour in Bristol is complete without ogling a few works by Banksy himself. You can find a few famous intact stencils by the man himself near the University of Bristol. The bottom of Park Street boasts one of Banky’s most photographed pieces in Bristol, featuring a man peering out an open window while his scantily-clad female companion attempts to pull him back inside.
The best thing about street art is that it is dynamic and ever-changing, making Bristol a destination worth returning to again and again to find new and exciting masterpieces.
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Image via Flickr by www.heatheronhertravels.com
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