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Back to Upfest – where the art went up, and the rain came down

31 Jul

Europe’s largest street art event returned to Bristol at the weekend.

Upfest included the work of 350 artists, some working on small boards, others on large panels – temporary pieces that will go when the festival packs up.

But the wall murals – some three or four storeys high – will remain for the next 12 months, which is great news for Festival Chronicle, because – thanks to both the rain and the sheer scale of the event (it’s now two miles end-to-end, without a detour to Redpoint Climbing Centre or South Street park) – we only got to see about half of it when we visited on Saturday. Continue reading

Upfest answers the old question: graffiti – art or vandalism?

27 May

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Why Join Art School When You Can be a Vandal? That’s the tongue-in-cheek question posed by one of the artists at Bristol’s Upfest, Europe’s largest urban paint festival.

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Hunting the Beautiful Bugs of Bedminster

30 Mar

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How can an infestation of insects save an ailing shopping centre? Festival Chronicle donned pith helmet and binoculars to undertake a bug safari around south Bristol. Continue reading

Graffiti artists aim high at multi-storey See No Evil festival, Bristol

21 Aug

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Bristol’s Nelson Street is, without a doubt, the arse-end of the city’s historic centre. The once-elegant Georgian thoroughfare, named after Admiral Lord Nelson (Bristol has a great seafaring heritage), was destroyed by German bombs during the Bristol Blitz and, like much of the city centre, was rebuilt in concrete in the 1950s and 60s.

But unlike its neighbouring districts – the redeveloped harbourside, the mercantile Old City, the modern cathedral to retail therapy that is Cabot’s Circus – Nelson Street has yet to benefit from the merciful release of the wrecker’s ball.

Of all the architectural forms to be found in Bristol, the brutalist municipal buildings and car parks of the postwar Age of Austerity are the most reviled. Just the spot for an international arts festival, then. Continue reading