One month on, we venture back outside to see what’s changed on Bristol’s streets.
There continues to be a crossover of government messaging and street art, as graffiti artists use their platforms to support the NHS and to share public health messages. Much respect to Decay for the pieces shared below.
The messages of dissent seem to divide into two distinct categories.
Category one can be defined as The Boris Collection…
What about advertising? And posters? Whats going on there?
Right now the strongest sense of living in an abandoned or post-apocalyptic city comes from walking past sites that were previously used for flyposters. Two full months of cancelled gigs have led to the twin disturbing features of out of date posters slowly peeling away and recent ones promising an alternate reality of raves, gigs and festivals that never actually happened.
After the council’s recent decision to grant planning permission to the developers looking to turn Lakota into flats (see last blog here: https://prsc.org.uk/stokes-croft-developments/) these posters have appeared in our neighbourhood.
These posters particularly impressed us by blending public health messaging with protest, thus straddling the two current most popular forms of street art.
What about paid for posters? What’s officially going up on the walls? The short answer is not much.
But alongside the Caring in Bristol poster campaign featured in our previous blog, PRSC has spotted this very strange poster designed by Massive Attack’s 3D promoting the Bristol Food Union. This is for a fundraiser which has so far made over £105,000 for the Bristol Food Union.
The Bristol Food Union does great work and Stokes Croft Food Project (of which PRSC is a part) has just started supplying them with meals.
One good legal use of billboards was spoted recently in St Phillips. This is part of a billboard campaign by a group called Led By Donkeys who pay to put actual quotes from our great leaders on the streets where everyone can contemplate them.
“TOO MANY BILLBOARDS, NOT ENOUGH TREES. New artwork on the billboards facing the M32 in Easton, Bristol.
Last year the tops of trees were cut down to make the new digital advertising screens more visible from the urban motorway.
Cutting down trees on a pollution corridor so that new cars, airlines, junk food and fast fashion can be advertised using an energy-intensive digital screen is….. in our professional opinion……PROPER DAFT.
Who dunnit? We reckon it was the billboard company Wildstone UK who also installed the digital screen.”
– Bristol Rising Tide
The visual culture of Bristol’s streets has always been filled with colour, creativity and rebellion.
When the crisis broke over us all, a lot of activity stopped and much of the street art produced was pushing the same government message of stay home, save lives, protect the NHS. Most of the rest was pushing kindness, community or charity (see previous post).
Now after nearly two months of lockdown and with the government instructions a lot less clear (stay alert for what? where?) messages are appearing all over the city expressing frustration with our leaders, while still offering love for the NHS and for our other badly paid, under appreciated, key workers.
And tentatively a new visual language may be emerging which reflects the new normal, whatever that turns out to be.
We have enjoyed discovering them and we leave you with a few of our favourites.