Back in Bristol

STIK Nelson Street

Following on from my last blog post about Banksy hunting in London I thought I’d do another quick post on the Bristolian artist.

I’ve just returned from a weekend retreat in the west country and I’m pleased to say I was able to hunt down one of Banksy’s newest pieces,  ‘The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum’.

It’s over a year since I was last in Bristol and it was good to be back. It’s a city I hold close to my heart and I love spending time there. If I didn’t like east London so much then I’d consider moving over that way.

There’s only one or two Banksy’s still left for me to find in the west country and last weekend it was my intention to find the piece he did at the back end of 2014. Most of the Banksy work I’ve found has been a few years old so it feels pretty good to find something more recent.

I’ll get onto the Banksy piece shortly, but first I’m going to talk about some of my other favourite Bristol sights from the weekend.

One of the coolest areas in Bristol is a place called Stokes Croft. It’s not far from the city centre and up there you’ll find some incredible street art. It’s a really laid back area full of some really friendly folk, vintage shops, independent shops, lots of graffiti and a Banksy or two.

Stokes croft 10

Iconic street art in Stokes Croft by Columbian artist Stinkfish.

The Prince of Wales pub in Stokes Croft was one place that caught my eye, so much so that I had to go in for a pint.

Prince of wales

One place in Bristol city centre that’s home to some massive murals is Nelson Street. I’ve spoke about this street in a previous blog post but it’s worth mentioning again. On my return to Nelson Street I was gutted to see that one of my favourite building’s in Bristol has now been torn down.

RIP colourful building

Nelson street street art

Superhero mural by SatOne

Nelson Street was used as part of the city’s See No Evil street art festival in 2011 and 2012 where Germany’s SatOne painted this colourful mural (above), and a whole host of other artists from around the world got involved; including Stik, ROA, Otto Schade, My Ayrz and Pixel Pancho, to name a few.

This area was one of the reasons I fell in love with street art and if it wasn’t for the graffiti on Nelson Street I wouldn’t be sat here writing about urban art. Luckily some of my favourite Nelson Street work was still there:

Work by Mr Ayrz and Stik

Work by Mr Ayrz and Stik

Another great piece I was pleased to see still standing:

Work by Italian artist Pixel Pancho

Work by Italian artist Pixel Pancho

Bristol’s newest Banksy 

Banksy’s ‘Girl with the Pierced Eardrum’ can be found on the side of a building on Hanover Place (BS1 6XT) in the Albion Dockyard.

It’s about a 30 minute venture from the bottom of Park Street (where you can still find Banksy’s ‘Well Hung Lover’) and it’s not far from where his famous Grim Reaper used to be, on the side of the Thekla boat and nightclub.

The walk to find Banksy’s latest hometown piece is pretty scenic and you get some really stunning views of the harbour. If you’re into photography and architecture then I recommend having a good wonder around this area.

Bristol harbour

After a stroll down the harbour taking in plenty of sea air and scenery you’ll be getting closer to an outstanding piece of street art.

Banksy’s ‘Girl with the Pierced Eardrum’ can be found on the rear of the white building on Hanover Place and it’s a truly remarkable piece. He might have taken inspiration from the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, but he does it in his own style. Banksy has added his own unique spin on this piece using the alarm on the wall as the girl’s earring.

This is probably my favourite Banksy to date; one because it’s the most recent piece I’ve found meaning I’ve stood on pretty fresh ground (which makes me happy). And two, because of the condition of the piece, and although some idiot tried to ruin it by throwing paint on it, it actually added more character to the painting.

The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum by Banksy 

Banksy New 1 Banksy New

When I was taking a few (hundred) snaps of this piece there was some old dears sat having an ice cream a few hundred yards behind me on a picnic bench. Whilst I was trying to find the right angle to capture this beauty I heard them saying ‘oooh I wonder what he’s taking pictures of’. If only they knew that the work in their presence was worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The fact that I was the only person there appreciating the Banksy made the moment even more special. No crowds, graffiti tours or tourists, just me.

So that’s it from my short break in Bristol, if you haven’t been there yet, you should.

As always, graffiti lovers & artists, add comments, share your favourite Banksy’s, and any info I’ve missed. Peace x

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