6 March 2008

Graffiti tourism in Bristol

I'm reporting to you today from the People's Republic of Stokes Croft. No - its not an obscure new country in the Balkans, but a principality of the City of Bristol that's exerting its artistic independence.

Walking to work down Stokes Croft, close to the centre of Bristol, I started noticing the street art on every corner. The more I looked, the more I photographed, the more I found, until I realised that there was something of a street-art explosion happening in this part of Bristol.

The People's Republic of Stokes Croft sprang from the activities of the Jamaica Street Artists Studios, just off Stokes Croft. Now a whole street gallery has sprung up organised by PRPC - every builder's hoarding is an opportunity for artistic expression. Their mission is to visually improve the streetscape and create a sense of identity in a part of Bristol that has for a while been a little down at heel.

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Bristol graffiti said...

Top post, good work!

Prêt à Voyager said...

Same mindset indeed! But in Bristol it looks like the graffiti artists know how to keep the paint within the frame; in Berlin there is tagging EVERYWHERE. . . A couple of them at the end look like they could be Bansky works.


Anonymous said...

Clearly you don't have to live anywhere near all this cr*p. Stokes Croft is a disgrace to Bristol which can, in some places be a nice city. As one of the areas closest to the city centre, Stokes Croft is dirty, full of tramps, rubbish and horrible grafitti and tagging and portrays a disgusting image of the city to those travelling through as well as to those who have to live amongst this.

Heatheronhertravels said...

Wow - strong reaction from Anonymous.

I agree that the area has been pretty run down and I'm not a great fan of tagging either, especially when it defaces something beautiful. However, I think that the street-art on the hoardings around Jamaica street and Stokes Croft is a great way to brighten up the area and it's positive that some people like PRSC are trying to use it to create community pride. Some people obviously find street-art synonymous with all that is subversive - for others that's half the attraction. For me, I walk through the area on my way to work and what I see brightens up my day.

disphoria said...

stokes croft has been neglected to the point where people avoided stopping there. it has three homeless hostels and various other influences that have made it seem such a mess. but the street art has given me a sense of pride that i live in a place that is bubbling with fresh ideas and vitality and life. the art shouts 'yes!' at a world that neglected it, and puts a smile on people's faces where before there was only drab urban gloom. it might be a disgrace but that is not the fault of the artists at all, they are trying to change it in a positive way

Frances said...

Hi there - found this post whileresearching the street art of Stokes Croft.

I DO live near here and I think it's fan-bloody-tastic. I am so proud of Bristol people and I think it's amazing that we have this in our midst and we take it so much for granted.

Yes, some of it may not be to my taste, and some of the messages may be a teeny weeny bit unsubtle, but for the most part this is proper art, well thought out and wittily executed.

Rock on PRSC. You're doing a fine, fine job!

elpats said...

Hi there,

I really enjoyed reading your post about PRSC, you have some great photos. I thought you might be interested in a new Bristol street art website that launched in April 09. The address is www.bristol-street-art.co.uk

Anonymous said...

I am a member of couchsurfing.org and everytime I show a traveler or new-comer to the city around stokes croft they really love it, and one of our biggest attended meet-ups was a graffti tour! It is a well under-rated attraction, perhaps this will change with Banksy v. Bristol museum. We are expecting alot more couchsurfers to come through Bristol this summer to see the exhibition!



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