Two huge murals with glow in the dark messaging have been installed in the heart of the city by Bristol Nights, as part of its campaign to tackle the issue of harassment of women in the city’s night-time economy. Now featuring on the iconic former Bank Of England building on Castle Park, the two murals have been curated collaboratively by three Bristol artists and UPFEST, with the support of Bristol City Council and MEPC Limited, sending a powerful message of Bristol’s zero tolerance stance with regards to the harassment of women.
‘It’s Not OK’ by Emily Joy Rich features Bristol Nights’ messaging that ‘If It’s Unwanted, It’s Not OK’. UV lighting now reveals all the behaviours that are not acceptable if uninvited, as highlighted by women in Bristol during the research phase of the landmark project.
The second mural, which takes up three huge walls, was painted by Bristol artists HazardOne and Oli T. ‘I’m Every Woman’ will reveal that 97% of women have experienced sexual harassment when lit by new UV lights at night. The wording on the mural reflects Oli T’s pop-art disco style, while the central piece is made up of the faces of many women – and is painted by prolific Bristol female artist HazardOne.
Bristol’s Night-time Economy Advisor, Carly Heath, explains: “By taking over an iconic building on the edge of Castle Park, the murals are a clear symbol of our city’s stance against harassment but are also a physical representation of the action being taken to create safer areas for Bristol. We have included hidden glow in the dark messages which bring the murals to life at night, to send a message at that critical time that if it’s not wanted, then it’s not OK.
“This part of the city has previously been highlighted as somewhere people wanted to feel safer, so this project brings the best of nightlife to a huge thoroughfare that connects one part of the city to the other. It’s a big statement about how Bristol cares about everyone who has to access the night. We’re inviting bystanders to call out unwanted behaviour, while empowering those working in the night-time economy to recognise and execute a zero-tolerance response to harassment in their venues and workplaces.”
The glow in the dark murals are part of a wider city campaign launching Bristol’s Women’s Safety Charter and a comprehensive awareness campaign in response to a recent survey that found that 100% of women in Bristol have experienced sexual harassment in some form.
Street Artist HazardOne explains: “Street art is a great way of taking up space and communicating loud and clear messages and I’m happy we could create such a bold piece of artwork that communicates the need to call out incidents of harassment and promote the safety of women with colourful artwork by day and UV message at night.”
Bristol Nights represents the night-time economy, which constitutes over 30% of the jobs in Bristol working from 6pm to 6am. Funding for the campaign was provided through a successful bid for £282,000 from the Home Office’s Safety of Women at Night Fund.