Street art is a massive part of Bristol culture, with international street artists like Banksy, Cheba and Inkie starting their careers here. Stokes Croft, St Pauls and more recently, Bedminster, are at the heart of the local movement, but art lovers should also head to the city centre, where hidden among the splendid architecture are some equally special local artworks. 

Banksy's Well-Hung Lover

Banksy Park Street
Image - Banksy's Well Hung Lover

At the bottom of Park Street you’ll find Banksy’s Well Hung Lover. The tongue-in-cheek piece is one of the highlights of the fantastic Banksy Walking Tour, and is sure to raise a smile. It’s the perfect introduction to the satirical humour that defines his work, and has influenced a whole generation of Bristol artists.

Floral mural on the side of The Florist, by Jody

Jody mural Park Street
Image source - Jody 

At the top of Park Street on the side of The Florist you'll find a beautiful mural by another local artist, Jody - it's already a familiar sight on local Instagram feeds! You can join a street art workshop with WHERE THE WALL, or a walking tour with Graft - a great way to get to grips with Bristol's street art scene and artists.

Art is Central

The art scene in Bristol is never static. In July this year, Park Street welcomed seven current and former Gromit Unleashed artists to the area to decorate shop fronts and purpose-built hoardings.

Art is Central Park Street - Jon Craig
Image source - Jon Craig

Work was created by internationally renowned artists including The Knitted Pea, Hannah Bone, Laura Hallett and Paula Bowles.

Art is Central - Jon Craig
Image source - Jon Craig

At the top of Park Street is a collaboration by Bristol legends Cheba and Inkie. Marrying their individual styles, they have created a new welcome sign for Park Street.

Park St Unleashed 2018
Image source - Bristol City Centre BID

The creation of the work was captured in this incredible time lapse film taken during #ParkStreetUnleashed.

The art will stay in place until September and will be replaced over time by an ever-changing array of new work, as part of the Bristol City Centre Business Improvement District’s (BID) Art is Central programme.

Get some inspiration 

Bristol may be famous for its street art, but there’s a whole wealth of talent in the city working in a variety of mediums. Explore Christmas Steps Arts Quarter, where you can find work from artists in the various independent boutiques and galleries. 

A little further away you’ll find Stokes Croft, Bristol’s self-proclaimed cultural quarter, full of quirky and esoteric works that challenge and delight. At the centre is the HERE Gallery, originally a pop-up that has now become a permanent fixture.

Stokes Croft
Image - Stokes Croft

If you’re a fan of contemporary photography, don’t miss the chance to visit the Martin Parr Foundation, hosting a unique collection by the founder himself and a handpicked selection from some of the world’s best photographers.

Want to bring some local art into your home? Across the city you’ll find an ever-changing array of artwork for sale. Limited edition prints start at just a few pounds, so you should be able to find something you like even if you're on a budget. You can also buy prints in the Visit Bristol online shop! 

Martin Parr
Image - Martin Parr, credit Martin Parr Foundation

Galleries aplenty

The city is full of independent galleries, pop-ups and institutions like the Royal West of England Academy. But Bristol likes to do things differently – in what other city would you have found an art gallery in an Edwardian toilet?

As well as hosting exhibitions from artists like Grayson Perry, Arnolfini and Spike Island support local artists with regularly changing exhibitions and event programmes. Arnolfini also has an impressive book shop and a waterside café that spills out onto the quayside when the sun is shining.

With so many beautiful areas, you won’t struggle for inspiration in Bristol. If you fancy sketching, etching or painting your own way to success then there are a number of arts supply shops where you can pick up the materials you need to get started - several of them on Park Street.


Image - Arnolfini

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