Back in England and still on the Banksy trail, this time in Bristol

Art goes technical with a car, an iPhone app and a sat nav

Modern art: art that requires a car, an iPhone app and a sat nav

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.

Heavy weaponry - original Banksy work given a chance to fade

Heavy weaponry – original Banksy work given a chance to fade

You can just about make out bits of an elephant with a rocket launcher on it's back

You can just about make out bits of an elephant with a rocket launcher on it’s back

Early Banksy contributions

Early Banksy contributions

A framed rat trap up a steep side street

A framed rat trap up a steep side street

Rose in a rat trap

Rose in a rat trap

The mild mild west

The mild mild west

Well hung lover, naked man, hanging man, whatever you want to call it

Well hung lover, naked man, hanging man, whatever you want to call it

Is it a Banksy? Policemen are often part of his cast, but the tag says otherwise

Is it a Banksy? Policemen are often part of his cast, but the tag says otherwise

Banksy has previously juxtaposed children with amunition, but the tag suggests this might not be his

Banksy has previously juxtaposed children with amunition, but the tag suggests this might not be his

Shopping astronaut that we accidentally stumbled across... courtesy of Banksy?

Shopping astronaut that we accidentally stumbled across… courtesy of Banksy?

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10 Comments

Filed under activity & sport, art, cities, culture, europe, roadtrip, uk

10 responses to “Back in England and still on the Banksy trail, this time in Bristol

  1. Cool! I like to get lost when I travel, especially when I don’t speak or read the language (once in Greece) but a treasure hunt is a great way to discover a place too, especially when what you hunt is the voice of those who usually have none… Enjoy 🙂

    • Boubbha, the same? We reconnect a decade later through WordPress 🙂 Good to see you’re still writing. Yep, some of my best adventures have been when I don’t speak the language… at least well… such as in Bolivia… And I guess it’s still similar in this context because I’m also trying to work out the meaning of the images. Thanks for commenting and reconnecting.

  2. I love street art. We had a street art festival in Delhi recently

    • Any pics? On your blog? I remember reading something through the WordPress community about the Delhi street art scene… maybe it was on yours? 🙂

      • On my crookedimagez blog, there are pictures. This is http://crookedimagez.me
        There was, however, an international street art festival, which I intend to photograph. There will be follow ups to this. I am planning to get some artists to do workshops on 3D chalk art

      • Would love to see some pics of the 3D chalk art, when you get around to documenting it. I’ll keep an eye out on both your blogs. Thanks for alerting me to your other one. Just been looking through the ugly tourist section too.. interesting theme… sad how people litter our beautiful world.

  3. Oh you make me want to get on an airplane!! 🙂

  4. liz

    So interesting and fun! What a great adventure. 🙂

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