Tales of walking, eating, watching and playing. Vintage treasures and simple pleasures ... the things that make her happy.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Banking on Grafitti

 Last days of the school hols ... they took some time out in Bristol.  Staying at the not so grand Grand Hotel.
They swam, steamed and bubbled in the spa.
She relaxed with her book - the life story of Isabella Blow.  Fashion editor, muse, nurturer of young fashion talent.  A true English eccentric, famed for her extrovert dress sense.  A life sadly marred by tragedy and depression.
They walked.
Grafitti capital.  Street art abounds.
Home of Banksy, anonymous, unseen, ex butcher turned spray can and stencil artist.  Emerged from the Bristol underground scene in the late 80s and used the Bristol streets as a canvas for his anti-establishment, anti-war, satirical and political artworks.  Loved by some, hated by others.
A well known Banksy landmark on the side of the sexual health clinic on Park Street, sadly defaced now.   Originally, the council ordered it to be removed but following huge public support they allowed it to remain
Many young people have been inspired to exhibit their handiwork. 
Some beautiful, some weird, some undoubted talent.
Welcomed in some areas and illegal in others, grafitti provokes much controversy.
Art given freely.
The knitting ninjas have been getting in on the act too ...
A refuelling stop at Pizza Express ... site of the first bank in Bristol, preserved with lots of its original features, plus a few quirky extras.
They explored St Nicholas Markets at the Corn Exchange and all the interesting little stalls outside.
She treated herself to a vintage kilt and a mohair jacket.

The clock outside the Corn Exchange has two minute hands.  Dating from the Victorian age when Bristol was in two minds about the correct time.  Before 1880 no standard time existed in Britain.  Every city had its own local time, governed by the sun, confirmed by the church bells.

Bristol lies 2 degrees, 36 minutes west of the Greenwich Meridian and the sun reaches its peak 11 minutes later than in Greenwich.  Before the railways came this didn't cause a problem as there was no reason why people in Bristol should keep to the same time as people in London, and there was no practical way of communicating information about time over a distance.  However, when the telegraph arrived and made such communication possible, it became necessary for people to all keep to a time based on a standard meridian.

The clock remains as a relic of this change - the black minute hand shows Greenwich Mean Time and the red minute hand shows Bristol time!
Lloyds TSB bank is opposite, housed in the most beautiful building.
Amazing stonework.  Unfortunately, not very clear due to the protective netting in front.
The inside beautifully preserved.
The next day a walk along the harbour.  Rain couldn't dampen their spirits.  Escapism at the cinema.
The Bristol Eye
Supper carried home carefully in a brown paper bag.  Renowned Pieminster pies.  Chicken and tarragon for him, Kate and Sidney for her!

A big thank you to all new followers!
And ... thank you to Miss Simmonds Says  and The Folly Bird for bestowing VJ with the Versatile Blogger Award!   The rules will be fulfilled shortly.


Jelly Jam said...

What fabby pictures. Looks like you all had a well deserved lovely break!
Might have to have aread of the Isabella Blow book next time I get a break.
PS The random word thing just made me laugh 'work. elieday' At work my jobshare & I have Ellie days and Jenny days

Aunt Jane's Attic said...

What great art work no wonder people fought for it too stay, havn't been to Bristol only a whiz through in the car having got off the motorway for some reason... Julie xxx

nilly said...

Fantastic street art - thanks for this alternative view of Bristol!

YeamieWaffles said...

Sounds like such an awesome trip Jane, Banksy is just pure class, such a talent!

Rose H (UK) said...

What a great break Marina. Like Aunt Jane I've never had a good look around Bristol, didn't know what I've been missing! Thank you for sharing :o)

Anonymous said...

This sounds like such a wonderful break for you! It looks like you both had so much fun! I love the clock and the gorgeous Lloyds building...it is simply stunning inside and out.

Stop by and enter my giveaway for a beautiful Laudree recipe book.

Brown Paper Packages said...

This post was enjoyed with a cup of Earl Grey and a chocolate biscuit too... This added only a little to what was already a delicious journey! I (hope i'm not causing a stir here) am a HUGE fan of Banksy - of course I'm not sure what I'd feel if the graffiti/art/free speech was bestowed upon my property - but let's face it, it certainly livens up the debate hey? Thank you for an awesome post!

greenthumb said...

What wonderful graffiti art work, looks like a fantastic time.

Alix said...

Thanks for the tour! I have never been to Bristol (though my parents once had their caravan stolen there!) and it looks well worth a visit. Love the sound of the pies!

Fading Grace said...

Some graffiti art is so amazing, how anyone can produce a work of art from a spray can?......takes incredible skill. art afterall takes on so many different forms.and yes of course if it was on the side of my house I probably wouldnt say that!!
Looks like you had a lovely time, you always manage to find the hidden interesting in places, there is a saying 'open your eyes, then open your eyes again' you do that :-) .....(Terry pratchett).
have a good week, xx

The Cloth Shed said...

What a fascinating fact about the two minute hands on the Corn Exchange clock....I never knew that.
Looks like you had a lovely time...
Julie x

*Maristella* said...

Hi Marina.
Wonderful Bristol!
Noi ci siamo stati un volta, città abbastanza caotica ma moolto carina!
Un abbraccio, *Maristella*.

Liz said...

Great post! I am amazed at the talent some graffiti artists have - to creat such work in such strange surroundings is incredible.
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

June said...

I love street art. I often go to Brick Lane and around Shoreditch where they have ever changing works. The Council in Hackney hates the art and walls are regularly painted over but the artists keep coming back! As you say some very talented people around! Haven't been to Bristol since I was in my 20's - you've spurned me on to re-visit! Thanks for sharing your lovely photos!

Anonymous said...

I loved your tour of Bristol, thank you! Great photos, each one interesting. Really enjoyed this post and glad you had a great trip.

mrs cheese said...

Great photos of all the street art, and the pies sounded delicious!

Kelly-Marie said...

Oh My! That bank is AMAZING! I have to go and visit it, I have never been to Bristol but you have painted a lovely picture of it. I love the clock with the two times, so interesting. I always learn something from your blog. :) xx

demie said...

what a lovely trip you took us with... grafitti is controversial but still, a lot of talent there....

and about Isabellas Blow, I always feel that very talented people have a a very dark side. That often turns against them...

greenthumb said...

I have just changed my setting hope this helps.

manon 21 said...

Ce I love You magnifique..

Belle soirée


Liz Tregenza said...

Lovely pics! I adore Bristol such a vibrant city and filled with so much wonderful art!

Brenda said...

Great post and brilliant pictures, funny we just watched a documentary about Banksy the other night, I am among those who appreciate his work, sounds like you all had a great time !