Monday, 19 March 2018

Bristol: a city in the sea of graffiti (England)

Hi Fellas,

Last weekend we traveled to Bristol. The principal reason for our journey was to see a death metal concert at the Marble Factory (two bands from the USACannibal Corpse and The Black Dahlia Murder), but, when you have the opportunity to stay longer, then maybe you should not miss out on an extended discovery. 

Personally, this was my third time in Bristol, and even though I have been there twice before, I could hardly recall anything about the place. We could hardly recall anything, so it was not only me. You know, when you go to London, or Birmingham, or even to Wolverhampton, there are landmarks that can burn into your memory forever. The only thing that I could always say about Bristol was that 'I loved it', but I could never really explain it. The good thing is that I was right, because Bristol is awesome. It has its flaws but hey, what large city does not really have any? The other thing is that we could finally settle with the fact that Bristol does not really have anything that could burn into your memory. It is a large city and you would think, hey, there must be something, but there is really nothing. It just feels very compact and built in. Apart from the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the best thing you will remember is colourful houses and graffiti. A lot of them. A lot of grafiti! Which I personally like, because I believe they are part of a healthy urban environment and it seems like that graffiti is warmly welcome in Bristol which is a fantastic opportunity for an explorer to capture them with a photocamera. They show that the people are there and that they have things to say, feelings to express. Also, the great majority of these 'paintings' are very arty which makes Bristol look like a 'bohemian paradise'. 

I think, if you spend some time in Bristol, you will either like it or you will not. There is no really inbetween. I like it, because it is arty, bohemian, hippie, and I feel that tolerance is one of the city's most treasuring virtues and this makes it feel really welcoming and friendly. 

So, first of all, we went to Bristol to carry out the sign project and, secondly, to make memories. And to make memories, you need to find 'things' that you will remember. I think we did well this time as during the days that we spent there, we walked across a relatively large area of the city and could capture a lot of things. My pictures will, therefore, run in timely order and will include the following: city centre with lots of graffiti; churches of course; more graffiti; a bookshop/café called the Hydra which is the miniature mirrored image of the entire Bristol (literally!); manhole covers; graffiti; a missing cat; a pile of hanging shoes; a massive and famous cemetery called Arnos Vale; more graffiti; and some bits and pieces from the old town. And maybe some more graffiti. Also, I was quite liberal in dragging some photos out of the archives as, remember, this was our third time in Bristol, so I had previously taken some photos there. You will see these included and it will not cause you a nightmare to identify these. If you ask me though, I do not think they break the consistency of this current collection. 

I have actually managed to pull together over a hundred images this times, but this makes me happy as I can share a large and delicious piece of 'cake' with you. Also, I do not want to forget to mention that when we carried out the sign project on Friday the 16th March, it felt really warm and spring-like, but two days later on Sunday the 18th March, cold air masses broke into the Biritsh Isles bringing snow and ice with them, so the last bunch of my photos were taken on that snowy day - which will probably not bother you much as graffiti covers even the snow. Oh yaay!     

Enjoy your time here!
Laszlo #thesignhunters

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© All photos were taken by Laszlo Bokor (2013, 2014, 2018). The video was filmed by Laszlo Bokor and Katie Eccleston Bokor (2018). The Sign Hunters, all rights reserved.

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