12 days of xmas show!

So, yesterday was the opening night of the 12 days show. Well, for me it was a full and crazy day of graf related activity, including meeting a guy who used to hang out with the Wild Bunch and various New York artists in the 80’s and 90’s, hopefully going to see his collection soon. But the show was the main event of the day…

Got there before doors opened, a decent queue formed, lots of people talking about different prints and their values, so could tell what kind of show it was going to be, a proper art one. Again, this still seems odd to me, Bristol shows didn’t used to be like this, used to be full of just generally interested types out for a nice night out. The old dilemma of popularity really, and would this show have happened if interested in contemporary and street art hadn’t risen so much over the last few years?

So got in, had a wander round, and was simultaneously confused and blown away. Confused as the building was suddenly flooded with people looking for certain works, the Nick Walkers especially. Blown away by the vast array of different pieces by so many great artists in what was a superb venue for it. It may have started as a joke to use the old Bridewell police station for this, but it was actually a really shrewd move. Bit of a collector myself, so grabbed myself a new Xenz original, and then, with that done, had a more leisurely wander round.

Annoyingly, my photos aren’t what i hoped they’d be, and will be going back later for some better ones, but here, in photos, are some thoughts on the night.

The view of the show from the outside. Don’t think this building’s ever been as popular!


Started off on the ground floor, headed left and went down the corridor, here’s one of the Ghostboy’s there, saw the chap himself wandering round with a sweet little dog on a lead too.


Just opposite was a Mudwig (left) and two cool little Eco’s (right). It’s hard enough to track down stuff from these guys at times, but cost was a little too much for my pocket. Gutted.


Further down the corridor were these two Xenz’s, great as ever, and a darn site cheaper than the Forster show! All money to charity too, which was a nice touch given the goood year he’s had so far. Top man.


Further down still there were another couple, larger, costlier, but just as lovely. People at the Forster show were upset there wasn’t much in the way of his butterflies there, should have got themselves over here!


Off the corridor were lots of little rooms, more formal art stuff, can’t remember who this is, but goood stuff.


This was sweet as well, can’t remember who did it, but was a paint swatch for Dulux’s ‘introspective range’, with colours such as ’empty void of nothingness with a hint of apple’. Few grand for this piece though, phewf!


Down the end of the corridor was this huge Xenz on boards, loved it, his new dark cities stuff seems better than the older stuff I’ve seen in a way. Bumped into Knautia there, who was invigilating the room by it, and apparently it’s there cos the corridor behind it has a leak in the roof, with plaster collapsing off it at an alarming rate. These boards are a definite improvement (sorry this photo’s so terribly crap, Knautia said it was something to do with light and shutter speeds, but still can’t get the hang of this new camera)


This was the room to the right of the photo above, Knautia had just stopped some crackhead stuffing one of the busts up his jumper, which explained why i saw some guy getting expertly thrown out when i was downstairs a few moments before.


Heading back down the same corridor was a room with these three Jago silks in. Got the print of the one in the middle a few weeks back, even better in the flesh. Silly money for it though sadly.


Now the upstairs was lovely, but this is where it started getting really cool. Off the middle of the two ground floor corridors was a passage that led past the excellently stocked bar for the night, then turned towards another room, with this Sickboy in it. Funny, pretty much the same one as on sale at Santa’s Ghetto in Bethlehem at the moment, that you’d have to brave Israeli security to get to and bid on. Unsurprisingly, saw someone snap this one up within minutes (if you want a guide price for the Santa’s Ghetto one, this one was £250)


Head on from there, and you get to a cold dank stairwell, past a sign warning solicitor’s and the like not to take their mobile phones past this point, the way down to the cells. This door was cool, various different bits on it randomly, shame the photo’s rubbish.


Down the bottom of the stairs, corridors run off from this space to the left and the right. Here are some Zimls and stuff that were on the wall in the lobby bit between the corridors.


Dow the corridor to the left the wall was given over almost entirely to the What Collective. Love all their stuff, think the ones below are 45RPM or Sums. Sweet use of a skateboard there…

Here are some Sums at the end of the corridor, saw an older couple snap up the one i the middle within minutes of the opening, wonder how they knew of his stuff?


Just by these, one of the cells had loads, and i mean loads, of various little What collective pieces on the walls, £15 each. Utter, utter bargain. Couldn’t photograph the pieces themselves as the room was too packed, but here’s a dartboard there with polaroid photos of policemen that must have been found when clearing out the station, augmented with comedy captions. Tsk tsk.


Cell next door couldn’t have been more different, Kuildoosh effectively had two rooms at this show, one done out as a crazy old victorianesque living room, the ‘light side’, whilst this one was the ‘dark side’. Kuildoosh are great, but heard lots of people saying the blood on the floor and the like was a little too much for them. Didn’t spot it at the time, but apparently one of the cells has real blood all over the ceiling, left over from back in the day.


So onto the other corridor, which has more cells as well as interview rooms. They were quite creepy, as totally soundproofed. Guess this rat must have been found when clearing out before the show, now caged and with a sign saying ‘died in custody’.


Another interview room had these Nick Walker canvasses that everyone was going crazy to buy.


Pretty much opposite was this odd room. No idea who it was, but it had odd music playing, and the bee was spinning round on a motor.


Annoyed i didn’t get a photo of Mau Mau’s room, but was perhaps unsurprisingly packed the whole time, dub reggae and, well, stuff. Think this was the door of it though, tagged up.


Here’s Xenz’s room, brilliant. Walls covered in birds.






Down the end was this big Before Chrome / Burning Candy room with an installation and a Ghostboy subvertised poster above the toilet.


View looking down the corridor from by the BC room.


So after a good wander round, time to pay for my stuff. Huge queue for that, took ages, but had a chance to catch up with various people i hadn’t seen yet, so not all bad. This is the old reception desk, with another Xenz in the window. There were two of them there when i turned up…


So, all in all a great night. If you haven’t been to this show yet, you must. Can’t wait to go back and have a less crowded explore of the place, seen from other photos already that there’s much I’ve missed, you could spend days in here!

1 Comment

Filed under 45 RPM, BC, Bristol, Dicy, Eco, Ghostboy, Mau Mau, Mr Jago, Mudwig, Nick Walker, Paris, Richt, Sickboy, Sums, Xenz, Ziml

One response to “12 days of xmas show!

  1. Buffin

    Really enjoyed reading this. Attended the preview night but it was very busy so I did miss some things and had forgotten a few others. Like you I will be going back.

    Glad you managed to get a Xenx. I got a couple of the small bargain orginals and can’t wait to pick them up when the show ends.

    A great show well worth visiting and well reported by yourself. Keep up the good work.



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