No Banksy? Sacrilegious, I know. Being the hometown of the world’s most famous street artist, how can you talk about Bristol’s graffiti scene without mentioning the man himself? Well, that’s often the problem. Banksy can dominate the conversation, leaving some equally amazing work out of the discussion. Which is ridiculous as there is so much on offer. Areas such as Nelson Street, Stokes Croft, and Easton are home to hundreds of colourful artworks and murals. While Bedminster hosts Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival, Upfest, each year. The fact is in Bristol, you don’t have to go very far to see something magical. All we’ve done is round up some of our favourites from around the city.
1. El Mac on Nelson Street
This huge mural depicts El Mac‘s girlfriend holding a baby. It was painted as part of the See No Evil festival held in 2011 that saw many of Bristol’s most famous artworks pop on Nelson Street. Turning the unassuming street into an amazing graffiti gallery.
2. Cheba in Stokes Croft
Taking inspiration from Hubble Telescope photographs, Cheba‘s space inspired work can be spotted all around Bristol. The Full Moon Pub in Stokes Croft catches the eye especially, however, with its abstract galaxy taking over the whole building’s exterior. We reguraly fear we might fall into outer space if we step too close.
3. Chewing gum on Leonard Lane
Despite what is written on the wall, Leonard Lane is not ‘231 miles exactly’. It’s actually quite a short walk, but brimming with an ever-changing array of street art. It is a treasure trove of street art, with each minor piece deserving its own entry. But we suggest taking a closer inspection of the ground. Where you will find tiny little artworks covering the gum-riddled floor.
4. Inkie on North Street
To many in Bristol, Inkie is just as much a legend as Banksy. If not more so. He’s been around since the 1980s and was the man behind See No Evil. His work can be spotted all about the city, but we’ve chosen this older piece from North Street. Painted on to the side of Parsons Bakery.
5. Aryz on Nelson Street
Rumour has it that it took the Barcelona-based artist Aryz only one day to complete this artwork. A stunning feat. It’s another leftover from See No Evil and a gorgeous entry to this list.
6. Jody Thomas on North Street
Jody Thomas is another Bristol local and icon. This newer mural, painted on to the side of the Bedminster community hub, Tobacco Factory, is from the most recent addition of the yearly street art festival Upfest. It’s a stop-dead-in-your-tracks artwork for anyone leaving the local Aldi. And captures the political streak running through a number of Bristol’s street art.
7. Phlegm x MM13 on Hillgrove Street
Not a true collaboration. More of a symbol of street art evolution. The affectionately nicknamed ‘Tsunami’ originally featured an artwork from Phlegm before the crew MM13 covered this Stokes Croft house with a big, red wave. Phlegm returned shortly after to add his twist. Giving us this unique blend of styles.
8. JPS on Frogmore Street
A little way down from Banksy’s Well Hung Lover on Park Street, you’ll find this unassuming black and white stencil of two children. It’s by Weston-Super-Mare artist JPS, who takes a lot of inspiration from the Bristol legend, but has really made a name for himself with his simple, yet effective stencils.
9. Conor Harrington on Broad Street
This stunning fuse of contemporary and classical styles is like nothing else on Bristol’s street art circuit. The Irish artist Conor Harrington has a style all of his own. And has created something that would feel just as at home in a gallery as it is on the street.
10. Nick Walker on Nelson Street
The Vandal is Bristol-born artist, Nick Walker’s most iconic character . The banker figure has popped up all around the world, from Norway to New York City. But it feels most comfortable on the streets of Bristol.
11. DJ Derek mural on Junction 2 of the M32
Another Inkie, and a tribute from one Bristol legend to another. The iconic reggae DJ and Bristolian, DJ Derek, sadly passed away in 2015. But this loving mural can be spotted by all passing Junction 2 of the M32 in Bristol. Gone but not forgotten.
12. Stinkfish in Stokes Croft
This image has been a friendly face to all arrivals in Stokes Croft for many years now. Stinkfish, the Colombian artist behind it, uses a lot of found photos in his work that adds real human emotion. He then paints over them in his brightly coloured style. First painted back in 2012, it has recently received a much needed touch-up.
13. Stik on Nelson Street
Simple but effective. Stik is known for his giant, almost amateurish, stick figure pieces. This towering artwork is one that has to be seen in the flesh to truly appreciate its magnitude.
14. Irony & Boe on Back Road
Apart from street art, is there anything more ubiquitous in Bristol than seagulls? London-based street artists Irony & Boe understand this and perfectly capture the city’s most consistent terrorisers in this leering portrait.