Stik visits Big Issue office in Bristol

15 03 2013

The anonymous street artist Stik, whose paintings of stick figures have been bought by everyone from Elton John to Bono, made a special visit to Bristol yesterday to sign copies of a print which is being distributed free all this week in copies of The Big Issue.

Stik - See No Evil Bristol 2012Look up next time you are on Nelson Street and you will see Stik’s gigantic work from last year’s See No Evil (right).

“That was scary as hell,” Stik told Bristol Culture in an exclusive interview yesterday.

“It took two days to do and my knees were shaking because it was so windy. But it’s the coolest piece I’ve ever done.

“Bristol is such a welcoming city. It’s like my second home. I’ve painted here a lot and I’ve got some great friends here.

“Bristol is definitely the UK capital of street art. It’s so advanced. The council is on the case and they just get it. That’s really important.”

Stik has been homeless himself, which makes the work that The Big Issue does all the more important to him.

Noser, a Big Issue vendor in Bristol city centre who like Stik wanted to preserve his anonymity so did not give his real name, got up extra early yesterday morning to ensure he would get some signed prints to sell in his own magazines.

“He’s been an absolute star today,” Noser said. “For him to come here to sign the posters is just great, and it’s already helped sales increase for a lot of people.”

For those unable to get a copy of The Big Issue, as well as the two huge figures on Nelson Street fans of Stik can also see his work on the side of the Workout gym on North Street next to a piece by Inkie, a Bristol artist who Stik calls “a great guy”.

So will Stik be painting in Bristol on his latest visit?

“I haven’t got a legal spot so it’s a no comment,” he said with a smirk.

Stik at The Big Issue office in Bristol

Could you give up your bed for a night? Join the first Big Sleep Out in Bristol on April 19. For more information, visit

Inkie at the House of Commons

8 03 2013

Bristol’s very own Inkie became the first graffiti artist to paint inside the House of Commons as he joined a party that had Fatboy Slim providing the music. The event was the launch of the Smile Britannia charity and was organised by London’s Westbank Gallery.

Inkie’s website is currently selling limited edition screenprints of the original Smile Britannia design which he drew on Wednesday night:

Inkie - Smile Britannia

Council-sanctioned street art from Inkie and friends at Bristol Temple Meads

29 01 2013

The welcome to visitors at Temple Meads is not the city’s finest, with a derelict Royal Mail sorting office on one side and empty hotels and concrete office blocks on the other. The welcome will now be slightly more colourful thanks to a new work by Inkie (below), unveiled on platform three yesterday and due to be installed soon in the station’s underpass, and an inflatable work by Filthy Luker, Pedro Estrellas and Dave Dwight next to the approach road.

Inkie  - Bristol to Brooklyn

The artworks have appeared to launch a call to artists to create a new “gateway” to the station as part of a commission for the Bristol Temple Quarter (BTQ) Enterprise Zone.

Inkie’s canvas, Bristol to Brooklyn, forms a sister piece to this one painted in New York last year (read more about the BEAM event here), and uses traditional Art Nouveau blended with New York spray painting techniques to form his “Ink Nouveau” style.

Shoot and Leaf (below) is a 10-metre high inflatable installation piece next to the entrance to Brunel’s Old Station, which sees a fresh green shoot breaking through the cobblestones and reaching up to the sky.

The Creative Gateway competition, launched at the station yesterday by Bristol Festival of Ideas director Andrew Kelly, hopes to help visitors learn more about the area and guide them on their way.

The competition will give ten awards of £500 for project proposals to be developed. An overall winner will be announced in May, with a prize of £2,500.

Shoot and Leaf - Bristol Temple Meads

Inkie’s See No Evil mural removed

27 11 2012

A mural on Nelson Street by acclaimed Bristol graffiti artist Inkie, painted as part of this year’s See No Evil festival, was being removed today by the landlord of the building before it is sold to new owners who evidently care little about the world famous street art by a world famous street artist on their wall.

Inkie’s piece is the first image on the See No Evil page on the Visit Bristol website, the government-funded body who describe the event as “an inspiring masterpiece and a legacy for the city”.

Part of that legacy is no more, and with massive cutbacks in council spending due to bite the Bristol arts sector hard, it is unlikely whether Nelson Street will once again be transformed next year.

A new See No Evil book is being launched at The Bank on Stokes Croft tomorrow. Only four months since this year’s festival, it will be the only place to see the painting by one of its principal organisers.

UPDATE: November 29
Inkie has responded to a comment below calling his work “ugly, saccharine, ubiquitous and meaningless”.

He wrote: “for your knowledge i was more than extremely lucky to paint my contemporary doodles on this ugly building and slightly more then a tad gutted it has been removed but i am well aware that in a modern society nothing is permanent or for that matter appeals to everyone.”

Responding to another comment, he said: “I am from Bristol and was not ‘paid’ a packet to attend rather i was attempting to beautify my home town and put our proud city on the map, much more than most people bother to do.”

From Bristol to Brooklyn

17 10 2012

A little slice of Bristol was in the Big Apple yesterday as From Bristol to Brooklyn took a group of musicians and artists to New York to present a taste of our street art, music and film. The event took place at the Knitting Factory, a club and gig venue on Metropolitan Avenue, and a business that was coincidentally founded in the former offices of Avon Products.

The arrival in Brooklyn was organised by BEAM – Bristol Exchange of Arts & Music – and featured street artists Inkie and Nick Walker, music from Scott Hendy, legendary Bristol-born DJ and now Brooklyn resident DJ Milo, plus short film screenings, visuals and art.

A documentary about Tricky and Knowle West, made by Mark Kidel, was one of the films shown, before representatives from Brooklyn, who will be travelling to Bristol for the return leg in the not too distant future, took to the canvasses and turntables.

“Much like Brooklyn itself, the city of Bristol has long been regarded as a place of innovation, radical creativity, and independence,” said the introduction to the event from the Watershed, who sent head of programme Mark Cosgrove and Pervasive Media Studio director Clare Reddington as part of the Bristol delegation.

Soon before 6pm New York time last night, five hours behind Bristol, Clare tweeted: “Painting in full swing. DJs setting up. Sound of Tricky documentary and Knowle West flooding into Brooklyn. Brilliant.”

Here is Nick Walker and the appearance of a familiar silhouette:

Preview: See No Evil 2012

23 06 2012

See No Evil is back for a second year in 2012. It will be returning to Nelson Street between August 16-19, and this year also moving across town for a launch party at Brunel’s Old Station with 3D projection experts AntiVJ creating a unique installation with music provided by Adrian Utley from Portishead and Will Gregory from Goldfrapp.

Thirty street artists from across the world will once again be painting Nelson Street, including abstract expressionist Remi Rough, Lyken, Nick Walker, alphabet painter Eine and Portuguese artist Vhils. Bristol’s Inkie is also returning to curate the event.

August 18 will see a free New York-style block party organised by Team Love, featuring the best of Bristol’s music scene providing the backdrop to live street painting and outdoor stages.

And August 19 is review day, where buskers will be chosen to take up a number of pitches throughout the festival site and lead the street party as artists put the final touches to their creations.

Inkie solo show

6 12 2010

The first ever Bristol solo show by Inkie is currently taking place at the Bank of Stokes Croft. The show is a look back at the 25-year career of Inkie, covering his graffiti work, his Ink Nouveau ladies (example below), t-shirt graphics and selected old and new design and print works from the period 1985 to 2010.

Inkie was brought up in Bristol, but is now an adopted Londoner where he has been head of creative design at Sega.

Talking to Soma Soma Scene, he had this to say about how he was in part influenced by his former surroundings: “Bristol is a beautiful Georgian city with a very creative outlook/attitude tucked away from the rest of UK and has a lot of good cider, weed and mushrooms. That helped.

“The styles used in graffiti are everywhere from street signs to plants to ancient temples. The key is to combine all of these mentally and freestyle your ideas out in your design.”

25 Years of Ink, presented by Flying Eyeball and Weapon of Choice Gallery, is at the Bank of Stokes Croft until December 12.