Recently I have found myself uploading a photo I have taken onto this blog and then heading straight over to Flickr and uploading the same flick there – without changing much of the text or adding anything new. Having just enjoyed reading some text on Knautia’s blog (highly recommended for a slightly more candid approach to the wider spectrum of Bristol graffiti) I thought that perhaps I should use this blog as a more text-based outlet. I did have the intention to do this but you know how it goes…
Anyway, with that in mind I’ll reply to one of Knautia’s recent posts, which I found to be an interesting view on this weekend’s UPfest. I guess the reason it struck a chord with me was down to fact that whilst painting my own piece at the Tobacco Factory I didn’t occur to me to link my piece with Don to the left or Grease to the right. Despite having had a chat and a laugh with Don (respect due!) I made a decision to leave a white border between pieces to make my piece stand out. Simple graff mentality I guess, but after reading Knautia’s post I wonder whether something more subconscious was going on.
The question of how much of the ‘flow’ (of graffiti artists working collaboratively) is cultural to Bristol I find intriguing. I know that personally, I have always painted with other people from the very first tags to the full-scale burners. Out of these experiences comes camaraderie and in my experience sometimes even brothership. For me it has allowed me to get to know some of the best street artists in the city/country/world on a personal level - and this always helps when you are painting with them.
But working together is a fundamental graffiti ethos in my option. Talking thing over with other writers, discussing styles, composition, colours, shading, 3D – all of that stuff is what makes you progress, you learn form others, you share ideas. You produce new art. I think the ‘flow’ of graffiti art is born of people just doing graffiti and is not intrinsic to Bristol. Its just that we are quite good at it ;-)