Bristol’s sensible new buffing policy

Most cities, when they have a graffiti “problem,” they bring out the buff squad and say “Go crazy. If it’s graffiti, buff it ASAP.” The most obvious problem with that strategy is that legal graffiti and street art gets buffed, as well as graffiti and street art that people like.

Although it’s been an informal policy in Bristol and parts of London for a while now, Bristol is officially modifying their graffiti buffing policy to accommodate art that people want to keep up. Soon, the council website will have a voting area where photos of graffiti and street art art published and the public will be able to vote for which pieces they like and which should be removed. That’s a lot of respect from the council for something that is still technically illegal.

From The Guardian:

For some it is simply an eyesore, but for others graffiti has as much worth as an old master. In Bristol, reputed home of Banksy, the street artist who has done more than any other to elevate graffiti off concrete walls and into galleries, the question is to be settled by the public.

Bristol city council is planning to let the public vote before murals on buildings, walls and fences are scrubbed clean or painted over. If citizens decide they like it, the work will remain.

The move comes as the “Banksy v Bristol Museum” exhibition in the city closedtoday having attracted more than 300,000 visitors since June. Queues for admission were up to six hours long over the Bank Holiday weekend.

As part of its formal street-art policy “to seek to define and support the display of public art”, the council is pledging “where people tell us that murals or artworks make a positive contribution to the local environment, and where the property owner has raised no objection” the graffiti will not be removed.

Photographs will be posted on the council’s website and the public asked to voice their opinions.

The policy was created after a Banksy work, showing a naked man hanging out of a window while his lover’s partner looks for him, appeared on a council-owned building in 2005, sparking debate over whether it should be removed.

The council set up an online poll, with 93% of those voting saying they wanted to keep it.

Read more…

Banksy versus the Bristol Museum

By Banksy and Damien Hirst. Photo by Sabeth718
By Banksy and Damien Hirst. Photo by Sabeth718

Yes that’s right. Banksy has invaded The Bristol City Museum for the next 3 months for his “Summer Show.” It is a flat out great show. Full review coming tomorrow, but this piece was one of my favorites. It’s a real Damien Hirst that Banksy has VASTLY improved. Some great photos in Sabeth718’s photo set.

Bristol council buffs legal wall

This is not cool. A nice piece in Bristol by some guys called Cheo and 3Dom got buffed by the council. Happens all the time right? Well this particular piece had been painted with permission, and the council knew that.

At leasts the artists got back at the council in their own special way. Check out these photos of before the buff, after the buffing, and after the artists found out about it (click on the images for a larger size)




(that sign reads “Council Vandalism: Mural removed illegally by the Bristol City Council”)

Hopefully, the council will learn from this and be more careful in the future, but I doubt it.

Via Bristol Graffiti

Bristol Graffiti Show – Crimes of Passion

I probably won’t be able to make it to this, but if you live it Bristol it sounds fantastic.

Crimes Of Passion: Street Art in Bristol

This Spring Bristol’s oldest and grandest gallery, the Royal West Of England Academy is throwing open all 5 of it’s galleries to host a major show by 50 of the city’s best known and most successful graffiti and street artists. This is the first major show of its kind in the city since the Arnolfini’s groundbreaking 1985 show, Graffiti Art and is a full-blown celebration of the city’s rich and diverse contemporary scene.

Bristol has nurtured many of the UK’s most successful graffiti and street artists, including 3D, Inkie, Banksy, Nick Walker, Sickboy, Cyclops and TCF Crew, to name but a few. The city continues to be a breeding ground for a wealth of exceptional creative talent and continues to have one of the UK’s most diverse and thriving scenes.

Crimes Of Passion takes the love of (and heartfelt dedication to) the art form as its starting point, but is far from a typical gallery retrospective, all the artists will be showing completely new work, as well as installation pieces and working both directly onto (and into) the walls of the gallery.

Crimes of Passion will also include a city-wide programme of large-scale painting, a photographic exhibition,a film season at local arts cinema The Cube  ( and a series of workshops and talks.

Exhibition venue:
Royal West of England Academy, Queen’s Rd, Bristol

Exhibition dates:
21st March – 2nd May

Artists involved in the show include Cyclops, Inkie, Mudwig, Nick Walker, Sickboy, Xenz and many many many more.

If anybody goes, please let me know how it is.