Back in England, the pursuit of Banksy continued. Whilst London appeared to be a bit too much of a widespread maze in which to get lost, Bristol – Banksy’s hometown – seemed the better option to seek out some of his work. Real life work in real life places. No prints this time.
It was to be a trip centered on technology. There are benefits, apparently.
D-man, a long time fan of Banksy’s work, downloaded the Banksy Tour iPhone app. We wove in and out of city traffic, up dead-end streets and down bustling suburb highstreets in our hire car, tapping coordinates and street names into the sat nav and scanning sides of buildings as we drove by.
Some works no longer existed, others were carefully preserved. It felt a little like a grown-up treasure hunt. Each time that we finally found a piece I was filled with an indescribable bubble of something, not too dissimilar to joy or satisfaction, maybe, and we’d park up and go and stand and stare for a few moments, occasionally muttering critiques too insignificant to report.
Maybe the most gratifying part of this urban adventure was spotting unknown works that may or may not have been anything to do with Banksy, pieces that acknowledged his style, themes and timing.
Because in amongst a sea of scribbles and expressions, there are some conscious pieces, pieces that are angry and articulate and beautiful, and they’re not all by Banksy.
- On the Banksy trail in some random little art town in the Netherlands (travelola.org)
- Show me some Melbourne street art (travelola.org)
- Map of Bristol street art (bristol-street-art.co.uk)
- Bristol street art project (bristol-street-art.co.uk)
- Bristol street art tours (wherethewall.com)
- Banksy’s war on London: in pictures (telegraph.co.uk)
- Banksy mural encroached on by rival street artist (telegraph.co.uk)
- Everyone is Banksy in Bristol (fathomaway.com)