Ziml On The Gloucester Road

Have been waiting a few weeks to blog this one, sort of as an experiment really. Up the Gloucester Road, there’s a little alley running down to not much really, just backs of shops and some rough parking space. It’s always been covered in tags and throw-ups, remember one of the ‘DAYONE’ stencils there 10 years or so ago.

Here’s what’s on one wall at the moment, some interesting stuff to those who have an interest, but nothing that co-ordinated.

So, a few weeks back, Ziml went to the owner of the building on the other side of the alley, which looked pretty similar to the side above, and asked if they’d mind him painting a big piece on it. They were fine with it, glad to see the tagging go, so up it went.

Here’s a shot from the other side…

…and a bit of a closeup.

Now the reason it’s interesting is that in the three or four weeks it’s been up, no more tagging has appeared around it and the wall’s stayed as it is. The building owner’s happy, the artist’s happy, and presumably the people walking by it are happy too, or at least not that fussed either way.

But with the council’s graf policy as proposed, the only allowance made for such work is if the council deems that the piece has artistic merit (it seems unlikely they’re fans of wildstyle) or if a community group or the like has applied to the council to put a ‘mural’ up. Otherwise, technically, it seems like the piece would be at risk of being painted over with grey paint, ready for yet more tagging.

There seems to be such a big disconnect between the council and the majority of the ‘grafurbanstreet art’ community at the moment that most people don’t really seem to care what the council’s policy is. Understandable in a way, when a motive for graffiti can be doing it because it’s not approved of, or doing something regardless of what others think.

But it does sort of seem to be a shame, when the two sides could work together to brighten up a city that’s pretty grey in places, and make use of a massive resource of artists the city has for the benefit of all, that the council’s looking like sticking with pretty much the same thing it’s always done in this area. It’ll be interesting to see if situations like the above carry on under the new policy, or whether we’re doomed to yet more grey paint all over our streets.


Filed under Bristol, Ziml

12 responses to “Ziml On The Gloucester Road

  1. Kineta

    If the owner of the building is to give Ziml written concent than the BCC can do sweet FA!

  2. dead yoke

    but the tagging hasn’t gone: Ziml painted a big tag. discuss… 🙂

  3. bristolgraffiti

    @Kineta – You’d think so, but unless I’m wildly mistaken, the policy very much seems to say otherwise…

  4. Do you know who’s behind the light bulbs? I’ve seen a fair few of them about.

    • bristolgraffiti

      Genuinely not as it happens, and as ever with these sort of unsigned things, no particular desire to know either, so if anyone does, please don’t leave them in the comments here!

  5. Concerned

    This is very worrying. The Nazis implemented a similar policy during the 1930’s in Germany regarding what they called “degenerate art” – read this if you can be bothered: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degenerate_art

    The state should have no right or power to determine what constitutes art, and furthermore, what should be destroyed or banished from view in their opinion.

    It’s just one more step towards an Orwellian society and needs to be drastically re-thought.

    Another worrying development is that this policy seems to have been created with little or no input from the section of the community that it directly affects – the artists themselves.

  6. bergerac

    i guess it would take some representatives of the’artistic community’ (ie arty types) to work with the council to decide upon the merit of a given piece. It’s not rocket science is it? If it’s any good then leave it up for a bit.

    • bristolgraffiti

      That’s still the same problem in a way though isn’t it, a small minority of people deciding what is and isn’t acceptable ‘street art’. There are a number of ways that could be done, and all of them have their flaws. Do you have writers sitting in judgement on other writers work (recipe for disaster, doubt anyone would do it). Or do you have non writers sitting in judgement (in which case, why should the writers listen to what they say?)

  7. bananaman

    with the introduction of so much red tape in world of ‘public art’, i’ld be surprised if anyone bothers to get up off their arse and get permission to paint anything anymore…
    if anything, this whole new policy will do the opposite of what the council hope they will achieve, and the whole movement will be driven underground again. if you dont ask permission in the first place – you leave all the bureaucracy behind.

  8. Boswell

    just ignore the policy and keep doin what we do dont let their judgment influence the work or all is lost …..get worse if anything!

  9. uuurgh!

    true words boswell!!

  10. AMW

    The Council should *always* have to ask a building owner for permission before painting over a piece. They wouldn’t re-paint my house, or a shop front without getting permission and the same should be true for graf, street-art, tags, paste-ups, whatever you want to call them. If they can’t contact the owners, the piece stays.

    This would let paintings like this one stay, while painters can either paint freely or work with owners – their choice.

    I’m not an artist or part of the ‘community’ but for me the range of styles and the mass of great ideas is part of what makes the art on Bristol’s walls so enjoyable to look at. So, the Council should like wildstyle as much as any commissioned community mural.

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