Olivia Tripp from Behind Bristol Doors checks out Where The Wall's new walking tour in Bedminster...

Image - Where the Wall's new street art tour of Bedminster 

Walking through Bristol, it’d be hard not to spot the amazing graffiti pieces spanning the walls and buildings. Whether you like realist art, stencil work or something completely abstract, you’ll find a piece you love.

I’m Olivia from Behind Bristol Doors, being a lover of all things colourful and creative, I am a big fan of Bristol’s vibrant street art. Walking through Stokes Croft to get to work, I get to view amazing graffiti pieces on a daily basis. Twenty minutes down the round in Bedminster, the walls are just as full. Home to Upfest, Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival, Bedminster is the perfect place for Where The Wall’s newest street art tour.

Image - Olivia Tripp 

Usually touring the city centre, Where The Wall tours are consistently popular and have been awarded certificate of excellence on TripAdvisor. Starting at Bedminster’s famous Tobacco Factory, the two hour leisurely tour takes you past some of the best shops and restaurants South Bristol has to offer. Including my personal favourite boutiques, Rhubarb Jumble and Mon Pote, alongside countless food and drinks venues. Other shops along the way include, Upfest’s very own shop and Hangfire, full of graffiti supplies and street art inspired framed pieces, incase you want something smaller to take home with you.

Image - Olivia Tripp, John Nation leads the new Where the Wall street art tour of Bedminster  

The tour leader, John Nation, is an iconic figure in Bristol’s street art history. Nicknamed the Godfather of Bristol urban art, John’s involvement in the street art scene started with his role as a youth worker at Barton Hill Youth Centre. With young Bristol artists such as Inkie, Jody Thomas and even Banksy, coming to John for advice on where to paint legally.

After showing us a small stencil piece just down the road from the Tobacco Factory, we take a short walk to one of the most well known pieces on the tour. Spanning a tall wall in Aldi carpark, taking four days and two artists to paint, is a portrait of a lady. Painted during Upfest 2015, Martin Ron and JIANT, took the project of the largest wall of the festival under their wing, creating a piece which has since got the seal of approval from residents.

Image - Olivia Tripp, giant eye by My Dog Sighs

Crossing the road to Bristol Beer Factory, we get to the next piece of art. Painted by My Dog Sighs, Upfest 2015’s artist in residence, the giant eye is a stand out piece of work. All of My Dog Sighs pieces are designed with the location of the piece in mind, with this piece situated on St Francis Road, the iris of the eye features an iconic picture of Saint Francis himself.

Walking up busy North Street and stopping at murals on the way, we get to one of my favourite pieces on the tour. On the side of Parsons Bakery is a large piece by well known Bristol artist, Inkie. Inkie’s ‘Best thing since sliced bread’ mural reflects the bakery it’s positioned on, with wheat climbing the side of the building.

Image - Olivia Tripp, 'Best thing since sliced bread' by Inkie

Turning left at Zazu’s Kitchen, John shows us a realist painting of a hand, painted by one of the artists he used to help at the youth centre, Jody Thomas. John talks us through the early days of Bristol’s street art scene, when most of what was being painted was illegal. But since the 1980’s, the rise of Banksy’s fame has played a huge part in making street art something Bristol is proud of.

Stopping at North Street Green and the Masonic pub to talk about various pieces on the way, we then make our way to East Street for our last stop on the tour. A vibrant piece called Queen of Neon by Dan Kitchener also painted during Upfest 2015.

With most of the art being painted over in July for Upfest 2016, and tours only once a month, you haven’t got long to see this tour in the same way as I have. But the nature of street art means the graffiti is ever changing making it just as interesting next time around.

For more on Where The Wall and their new Bedminster Street Art tour see www.wherethewall.com

By Olivia Tripp

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Bristol Street Art Walking Tours
Walking Tour
Bristol Street Art Walking Tours

Explore the latest street art where the walls change weekly, and celebrate Bristol's unique creative culture.