This knitted cuff appeared on the lamp post at the bottom of Nine Tree Hill some time ago. It’s a beautiful piece of knitting, and someone has clearly put a lot of thought into the construction and colours – I particularly like the way the grey yarn is such a close match to the lamp post. I wonder if it has a suitably urban name – something like Pavement, drain pipe or lamp post, even – the yarn that is, not the knitting. Today, when I looked, I thought it had gone. But no, it had just slipped a little. I was going to nudge it back into position, but then, when I crouched down, I realised that I rather liked the view from this level. And once you are down at ankle height, there is a surprising amount to see… but that’s for another post.
A very annoying mobile phone issue meant that I had to traipse into Broadmead when I should have been working. A lot of time was wasted, not least because the way to resolve the problem lay in an old handset that I’d left at home. On the upside, I had my camera with me and I finally captured one of my favourite local characters – Stokes Croft’s urban spaceman. I always forget how large he is, and am slightly surprised as he looms into view.
Stokes Croft is quite remarkable in terms of the scale and variety of graffiti that is on show. And most of it is of a very high quality, with the dull tagging limited to lamp posts and post boxes. Just across from the spaceman, Avon and Bristol Law centre has boldly embraced the local mood.
In an earlier post I mentioned the need to snap these works when you can as they don’t stay around forever. I have walked towards the little girl below many hundreds of times, and now she is gradually disappearing. You can see her in her prime here.
Late last week I wandered into town for the first time since …. well, since I took these pictures, just before Christmas. The pavements were less treacherous and, although wet and gloomy, it was good to re-connect with the city. It was also nice to go for an urban wander without the children in tow. Not because I don’t like walking around Bristol with them – though sometimes it can be a little stressful with all three – but I find that I don’t pay much attention to the world around me while I am shepherding the girls across roads or listening to their cheery-streams-of-consciousness, all on full flow at the same time. The first thing that struck me as I hit Stoke’s Croft was that although I know this patch really well, and make a point of looking at it closely because there is so much wonderful and strange graffiti, there are still things that I have managed to miss. The first of which was this tiling around the entrance to the Art House cafe (what is a cash chemist?). I spotted it as I crossed the road, reached for my camera… but there was no camera. No, not lost, or stolen, but left at home. Doh! As I wandered on down the road, spotting other over-looked architectural details, I realised that I quite often see things that I dearly want to photograph whilst I am out and about without the camera. This wonderful knitted installation in the grounds of St Stephen’s Church was another thing I encountered on that camera-less walk.
As you can see, I managed to retrace my steps a few days later, this time with the camera. I have learned, the hard way, that it is important to be quick about returning to photograph anything that has caught my eye as things do disappear – especially in the case of interesting graffiti (or in this case knitiffi, as they call it). Some years ago someone had scrawled “time isn’t real” on the wall at the top of our road and I kept meaning to photograph it – it wasn’t very beautiful, but it always amused me. And then one day, in its place, there was just a grey rectangle of fresh paint.