An exhibition running this winter in the Bearpit’s outdoor gallery looks back to a famous Bristol icon – and asks some of the city’s most talented latter-day graphic artists to give it a modern twist.
Six graffiti artists from Bristol – including Inkie, a world-renowned artist, former Banksy collaborator, and major force behind the hugely successful See No Evil graffiti festivals – have decorated the Bearpit with their interpretations of the iconic Bristol Scroll.
The exhibition is inspired by the Bristol Scroll, which will be well known to anybody over the age of 40. The city’s name was carried in this distinctive typeface by every bus in Bristol and the surrounding areas from 1965 until the mid-1980s. It was first used in 1910 by the Bristol Aviation Company, and became the Bristol “Brand” across the globe, during a period of rapid industrial expansion and innovation.
The logo has been reinterpreted in today’s graffiti art form, for which has Bristol has become renowned. Chris Chalkley of Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC), who leads on art for the Bearpit Improvement Group and who designed the exhibition, explains; “The core idea was to take this extremely well-known and fondly remembered logo and to ask some of Bristol’s more significant graffiti artists to re- interpret it for the present day,” Chris continues. “In doing so, our graffiti artists reveal their skills as calligraphers in a manner that is approachable, in a way that graffiti very often is not.” The six artists involved are: 3-Dom, Deams, Inkie, 45RPM, Ged Palmer and Paris have decided to reinvent the scroll in their own styles.
A2 screen prints and T-shirts of each design are available from PRSC’s headquarters on Jamaica Street and elsewhere, with proceeds going towards the group’s ongoing regeneration work in Stokes Croft.