13 January 2012
We haven’t got an underground, because beneath the centre it’s mostly water. OK, submarines instead of trains – but while we’re waiting, we’ve got street art. A multi-coloured life-form, it bubbled up through the pavements and spread across the walls of a part of town the Council had forgotten. When they realised it was coming round the corners, they hastily tried to embrace it, only to get paint on their clothes. Don’t worry though, dear reader, you’ll be perfectly safe in Stokes Croft.
Stokes Croft is an independent state of mind near the centre of Bristol. You may have seen it when opposition to the opening of a new Tesco Metro was …erm … on the news. You don’t have to condone violence to wonder how come retail chains have more influence on councils when it comes to planning than the people who elected them – nor to see similarities with the relationship between government and financial institutions. But art is a more interesting and fruitful reaction to the contradictions in any case.
Bristol ships once traded the world – sometimes with human cargoes – so water was the city’s lifeblood. Now it’s come up where Jamaica Street meets Hillgrove Street as an artwork called the Wave. Appropriately for the end of a year when Japan suffered a dreadful tsunami, it borrows from Hokusai (see below). Art can borrow because art is free.Time to open our eyes.
Post by our lovely guest blogger, Old Teasel.
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