I was 19 the first time that I noticed graffiti as street art. It was a stylysed picture of a person body-pop dancing on a wall in Clifton, Bristol. Over the years graffiti as an art from has become much more prevalent and is often one of the joys of wandering round cities. Barcelona was full of it. Here are some examples from Barcelona
scribbles tagged ‘graffiti’
This August Bristol hosted a “see no evil” ‘block’ party, in a street dominated by 1970’s blocky, brutalist style architecture, Nelson Street:
“Some of the world’s leading street artists, some of the biggest pieces of permanent street art, some of the best music and one big block party August 20 2011!”
- Tats Cru (NY)
- El Mac (LA)
- Niels Shoe (Amsterdam)
- Mr Wany (Bristini)
- Inkie (Bristol)
- Aryz (Barcelona)
- Zeus (UK)
- Nick Walker (UK)
The artwork transformed places you might quickly walk through on your way somewhere else to places you go to linger. The varied pictures and styles change moods, raise questions, touch the soul. Bros 1957 and I lingered there, talking, smiling, photographing for several hours
Calls from the coach-load of Police cadets to my 15 years old friend, Diana. I moved myself between her and the coach to block their view of her coloured skin. I’d grown-up in a middle class white suburb of Bristol. Diana was one of the ‘half-cast’ (mumsie’s term) people in the large town. Everyone knew them by name, they were special people. I’d always been proud that the intelligent, beautiful, articulate and aware Diana was one of my friends. The day after the St Pauls riots Diana asked me if I’d come with her to check that her grandmother was ok. In all innocence and a broad local accent I didn’t hesitate
Year, coarse, me luv!
I didn’t understand why she’d even asked. To me it was a mini adventure. I’d never gotten off the bus at St Pauls. I’d ridden the bus through to the city center. Seen the prostitutes lining the streets, heard the reggae booming from loud speakers hung-out of townhouse windows. The place seemed alive. I’d always wanted to get off the bus and look around, but it was Bristol’s black ghetto, nice middle-class people didn’t go there. Bristol was a major port in the slave trafficking triangle. A side effect of Bristol’s role in slave trading was a large local Black population. Few had moved into the suburbs, as Diana’s mother had done when she married a white man.
The police continued to hurl verbal abuse. Not at me, I appeared to be invisible. Abuse directed at Diana who cowered behind me. It was obscene that these ignorant people could reducetThis strong, intelligent, fifteen year old girl to a cowering wreck
My belief in the police as a just arm of the law forever shattered
10 years later I bumped into Diana in a Bristol bank. She had 3 small children in tow. From our brief conversation as we waited in line I discovered she was unemployed, single, with 5 children all fathered by different men. She apologised for herself. There was nothing left of the beautful potential I’d seen, she didn’t seem to know that she was worth anything more than being a low income mother. She never really had a chance. I felt guilty for viewing her motherhood as under achieving, for hearing her self apologies as confirmation of failure. Knowing that I am where I am because I’m white, priviledged, and have a plucky ‘dont mess with me’ attitude validated
Rioting again in London town, not Reading town
My life is littered with luck
Making sure you got your phone calls was a complicated affair in the days before cell phones and answer machines. Especially for a teenager. This is just one of the problems I encountered – after coming home from a long, fun night practicing with the marching band:
Mumzie: Graham called while you were out
Wendy: Graham! Which Graham? What did he say?
Darn, now mum knows there are several Grahams in my life and he might have told her something personal.
Mumzie: there’s more than one Graham? He didn’t say what it was about dear, just said to let you know he’d called
Clearly this is a discreat Graham. Can’t pick one out from the rest based on that description. So now I have to work out in which order to phone them back. Then how to start the conversation without giving away that I don’t know if I’m returning a call, or calling them for the first time? Then I have to work out how to advise mumzie on taking future calls from Grahams, to help her work out which one called without saying “which Graham are you?” which would make each of them feel insignificant, and they’re not. They’re all special in different ways
Life’s so complicated!
Enthusiastically immersed in socialist discourses and lengthy walking tours of the Hull Avenues. Our spirits raised by all sorts of street art. Sunshine uncovering unexpected family similarities in manner, attitude and humour
A small graffiti image in the style of Banksy shows a man holding a gun to his head.
The image is near where Woolworth’s used to be. The Woolworth’s site still unoccupied in the centre of town. In the other direction a bank has been converted into a pub, called ‘The Bank’.
The Wzards of Tiv breed a rare form of magic moth known as the gizajob. To keep the moth pupae both moist and warm they weave the pupae into their beard just below their nose where it cunningly covers their mouth. Luckily its not currently the breeding season, though I did see many wizards with appropriately sized beards.