August 2013 Archives

Gromit Unleashed in Bristol, Part 2

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A few weeks ago, I visited Bristol to take part in the charity sculpture walk "Gromit Unleashed", and you may have seen my previous entry about locating the Gromit sculptures. (If you have not, you can have a read and view of the photographs here: Gromit Unleashed in Bristol, Part 2). For those who do not know, this charity walk features eighty unique Gromit sculptures; Gromit is the canine companion of Wallace in the British stop-animation films, "Wallace and Gromit". The creators of the films, Aardman Studios, are located in Bristol. The proceeds of the event will be donated to Bristol Children's Hospital. 

'Poochadelic' by Lisa Hassell

Local businesses, artists, and the public are contributing to this cause, and it has had a massive response. At the end of July, over 100,000 visitors have visited "Gromit Unleashed", according to the official website.

For those who have not yet been to visit the Gromit sculptures, there's only about a week left before they are taken away and auctioned. The trail finishes on September 8. If you missed them or will not be able to see them in their trail locations, they will all be in one place from 18-22 September in Clifton, Bristol. More information can be found on the official website:

For those who will not be able to make it at all, please enjoy the photographs that I have selected along with accompanying text about the artist or Gromit. I've managed to track down all of the Gromit sculptures. (I actually do not have a favourite, but there are a few that I do like very much.)

'It's Kraken, Gromit!' by Filthy Luker

Filthy Luker is a street artist based in Bristol, and his artwork primarily features inflatible art objects. For example, he has put eye sculptures in trees, large plant vines emerging from buildings, and large banana skins on street corners. 

'Vincent van Gromit' by Laura Cramer; 'A Close Shave' by Harry Hill; 'Patch' by Emily Golden; 'Five a Day Dog' by Laura Cramer; 'Lodekka' by Ignition DG; 'Blossom' by Emily Ketteringham

Laura Cramer was influenced by the work of classic painters, and her Gromit is a tribute to artist Vincent van Gogh. Celebrity comedian Harry Hill's Gromit is shaved to raise awareness of baldness and fits well in the title to one of the animations. Emily Golden's is based on a patchwork design, and she wanted visitors to pick out their favoruite squares. The 'Lodekka' Gromit features a bus created by the Bristol Omnibus Company. Emily Ketteringham's Gromit is in full bloom, inspired by beautiful flowers. 

'Dog Rose' by Ros Franklin

Flowers were a popular theme for the Gromit sculpture. Ros Franklin's Gromit and the Gromit created by beautiful-pattern company Cath Kidston both feature flowers.

'Antique Rose' by Cath Kidston

Garden-designer Diarmuid Gavin was inspired to create a Gromit out of turf.

'Oops A Daisy' by Diarmuid Gavin

The Gromit by Tom Berry, located in Cheddar, is a maze. The maze is drawn to look like a forest. The maze can be started on Gromit's ear and finished on the tail.

'aMazing' by Tom Berry

Sarah-Jane Grace's Gromit is made to look as though Gromit is peeking out from a hedge.

'Secret Garden' by Sarah-Jane Grace

Cartoons also inspired some of the designs of the Gromit sculptures. Brookes makes political cartoons for The Times of Ed Miliband (as Wallace) and Ed Balls (as Gromit). 

'Two Eds are Better than One' by Peter Brookes 

Creator of Simon's Cat cartoons, Simon Tofield, covered his Gromit with his cartoon cat.

'Doodles' by Simon Tofield

The creator of Roger Rabbit, Richard Williams, created a rainbow Gromit; the cartoon rabbit is on the side of the Gromit. Zoo animals also features heavily in the designs of the Gromit sculptures. Gromit statues were transformed into zebras, tigers, and baboons. 

'Roger' by Richard Williams; 'Grant's Gromit' by Rosie Ashforth

Space was another theme for the Gromit sculptures. One Gromit was inspired by constellations, and a Gromit constellation can be found on the sculpture. The astronaut Gromit was a collaboration of Pixar and Aardman, and this looks very much like the character Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.  Cheba was also influenced by space and stars for his 'Grosmos' sculpture; Cheba is another Bristol-based street artist.

'Canis Major' by Katy Christianson; 'Gromit Lightyear' by Pixar; 'Grosmos' by Cheba 

Have you been to see the Gromits? Have you taken part? Which one was your favourite?

Martin Ron is a street artist from Argentina, and he visited London and just finished painting a large mural on the Village Underground. His work features surreal subjects. The large mural on the Village Underground features a hand (modelled by his girlfriend), a man (modelled by his flatmate), and a badger. According to an interview with StreetArtLondon (1), he chooses humour in his work because the public appreciate it.


The subject of the mural, named 'Badgergate', focuses on the badger against a large machine. Martin choose to paint this because the first news he heard in the UK was about badgers, and he thought they were a pretty animal (1). The mural took a week to paint. I love the green hatch-marks on the background and the mural and think that the badger and the hand are painted well. This mural brightens up the area.

Detail of the badger

Detail of the tiles

The scale of the work

Martin Ron's work 'Badgergate' in progress

1) Badgergate - Martin Ron Paints the VU Wall. [28 August, 2013].

A collaborative effort by Pure Evil (covered here), Miss Van, and Ciroschu appeared in the middle of July on a wall off of Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch. Around this same time, I've taken a few other photographs of work by these artists. Pure Evil, who owns a gallery nearby, was also busy painting figures on a wall further along the street and closer to his gallery. I have included a variety of photographs of these artists' work discovered on the streets over the past month.

Pure Evil

Pure Evil

Pure Evil and Ciroschu

Ciroschu and Miss Van

Miss Van and Cirochu

Phlegm and ROA Street Art at South Bank

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Early this summer, two large-scale murals by popular street artists ROA and Phlegm appeared on the walls of South Bank. I was excited to see new work popping up in London by these artists, particularly at South Bank. I went to have a look at the street art by Phlegm and ROA in June.

Phlegm is a street artist from northern England, and I've created a blog entry with some of his work here: Street Art: Phlegm


ROA is a street artist from Belgium, and his work normally features animals. I created a blog entry with some of his work here: Street Art: ROA. I love how these three-dimensional 'fighting' squirrels come to life on the walls at South Bank.


I hope you've enjoyed these photographs. Have you been to view them yet?

Go Go Gorillas! take over Norwich

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GoGoGorillas is an outdoor animal art sculpture charity trail located in Norwich for eleven weeks this summer. The trail features fifty-three large gorillas (painted by local artists) around the streets in Norwich and sixty-seven smaller ones painted by schools and community groups.

At the end of the charity trail, the gorillas will be auctioned off to raise money for charities Break and Born Free Foundation. GoGoGorillas have been launched by Wild in Art; this group also brought previous events 'Go Elephants' and 'Stroll Discovery Trails', which I visited last year.

The gorilla sculptures also support tourism and local businesses. I visited them today, and many others had the same idea. Nearly everyone that I saw in Norwich today was looking for the gorillas. 

My favoruite gorilla was probably the Transformers gorilla (known as Optimus Primate), although it was a tough decision as they were all very good. I liked this one the best as it reminds me of watching these cartoons when I was younger, and I felt that it was a very creative actualisation of the gorilla sculpture.

'Optimus Primate' by Yewtek

In fact, heroes seemed to feature a lot in the designs of the gorillas. Fictional characters such as Superman, Batman, and Iron Man were transformed into gorilla sculptures. In addition to fictional characters, real-life characters also made their mark. Such real-life heroes include Olympic medalist Bradley Wiggins and local celebrity Alan Partridge. However, the unsung heroes were also noted, such as builders and military heroes.

'Iron Ape' by Martin Wall

'Drilla the Gorilla' by Jessica Perry and Maggie Campbell; 'The Ape'd Crusader' by Jenny Leonard

'Bradley Wiggins' by Martin Wall

'Poppyland Hero' by Derek Blois

Other gorillas feature local heroes, such as this one for the Geoffrey Watling Charity.

norwichgorillas09.jpg'Geoffrey' by Sandy Jones

In addition to hereos, there were several creative gorillas that were more than simply painted. The two below include one made of chrome and one made to look like a tree.

'Chromilla' by Phil Daniels

'Skull Island' by Beau Townsend

Various other gorillas that I discovered and photographed are included below for readers to see the range of different styles.

'Guy' by Bridget Parsons; 'Nelson' by Mik Richardson; 'Yo'Man' by Phil Daniels; 'Whoop! Whoop!' by Daniel Hanton

norwichgorillas10.jpg'Norvic' by Norwich School Design Department

Nature and animals was a popular theme for most of the gorillas, and I have included some close-ups of some of the artwork on some of the gorillas below.

'Jungle Jenny' by Jenny Leonard; 'Walk on the Wild Side' by Pat Kennewell; 'Butch' by Stuart Roy

'Gerald' by Nathan Smith

For those who want to visit GoGoGorillas, they will only be around for another week in Norwich. They will be auctioned in October. For more information, visit the official website here:

As a web developer, I am always interested in technology and its uses and how users interact with it. "Hello Lamp Post" is an experimental Bristol-wide platform to encourage users to interact to discover the city and others' experiences. The platform encourages people to take time out and to interact with the environment and with others who have previously left their responses. 

Hello, Cityhall

"Hello Lamp Post" can be prompted by sending a text message to 'talk to' various items of street furniture, the harbour, signage, cranes, and buildings and receiving text messages back to interact. The signs read: "Bristol's street furniture is waking up and wants to talk to you." They encourage visitors to send a text message with a unique hash code.

According to the website, the inspiration for this experiment comes from two ideas: a city diary that allows us to conjure memories of the city that we have had with applying codes to everyday objects.

hellobristol3.jpg website

Although there were several of these around Bristol that I discovered, I only photographed and interacted with a couple of them.

Here is my discussion with Crane #31. I think I confused it. 

Me: Hello crane #31
Crane 31: Hello, human. All over Bristol objects like me are waking up and asking people about the city. I have a few questions for you. I can't see you. Where are you standing?
Me: I am near the water.
Crane 31: Ah, now I see you. Give me a wave. Someone else told me: 'Stalker!! By the arnolfini' I have another question. Can you see the Balmoral? She's a beautiful ship.
Me: I am not sure which ship she is.
Crane 31: Interesting. Someone else told me: 'She is. I am moored near the Irene. She is an old grain boat.' Here's something else I'm wondering about you. If you were as tall as me, what would you do?
Me: I would admire the great views over Bristol and gaze at stars.
Crane 31: Thanks, short stuff. I'll let you go but check other objects for existing codes - almost anything can talk.
Me: Coolio
Crane 31: It was great to chat, but I need to think about your answers. Come back soon!

Cranes and harbourside

Here is my discussion with the harbourside. Unfortunately, the harbourside did not have the concept of time. 

Me: Hello harbourside #hrb5
Harbour: Hello, human. All over Bristol objects like me are waking up and asking people about the city. I have a few questions for you. What's your favourite thing around here?
Me: I like to admire the views along the waterfront.
Harbour: Cool! Someone else told me: 'around bristol?? i love the old vic theatre! my boyfriend performed there last night and it was truly amazing!!!xxxxxxx' Let me ask another question. What brings you to this part of town?
Me: I am visiting Gromits.
Harbour: I see. Someone else told me: 'Going to the Watershed to catch up with a friend.' I have another question. What have you got lined up for the rest of the day?
Me: It is night now, so I will go to bed soon. Staying out later would be awesome, but I will be too tired.
Harbour: Right. Someone else told me: 'Seeing the cathedral and taking a boat tour' I'll let you go but check out other objects for existing codes - almost anything can talk!

The Breakfast Club

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The Breakfast Club is a chain of restaurants located in London. I have been wanting to try this place since I heard that it was meant to be good. While I was not impressed with the bland food or the particularly slow service (it took ages to get served, and it was not even busy; they messed up my order completely; it was impossible to get a refill or the bill; what was meant to be a 'quick' breakfast took an hour and a half), I did like the design of the restaurant. 

Restaurant design

A friend and I visited in June; we got to the Spitalfield's branch of the restaurant at about 10:00 on a weekday morning. The restaurant was nearly empty, but a lot of people turned up at about 11:00 for brunch.

Interior of the restaurant 

I ordered the breakfast with pancakes and bacon. My friend decided to try the full English breakfast as she was visiting from the states. I took a photograph of my meal below.


Because the food was bland and the service was appaling, I would not visit again, but I liked the quirky interior design of this restaurant. It has a vintage and American-diner feel.

Street Art: ROA

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ROA is one of the most globally well-known street artists. Originally from Belgium, ROA has painted murals throughout cities worldwide.   ROA's work mainly consists of birds and animals. These seemingly interact with the context on which they are painted and share a sense of urban decay. The work is detailed and realistic and painted in black and white.  

I've included several ROA's street art that I've managed to photograph around Brick Lane over the past year. The newest work by ROA in the east end of London was a large group of animals painted on a wall in a housing estate near Bethnal Green Road.

A pig on Bacon Street

A group of animals off Rivington Street

An animal in Hackney

A long-necked bird follows the length of this building (only a section is photographed here) off Brick Lane.

A crane dominates a wall off Brick Lane

The newest mural painted by ROA in London is off of Bethnal Green Road (near the park) and features a pile of several animals. Some of these 'interact' with the contours of the building and have been decapited by it. This mural is amazing. It is a bit difficult to find, and the location was kept secret for a little while. It's off the beaten path, so to speak, in between a narrow passageway between apartments.

The newest mural; a group of animals and birds 

The council threatened to remove his work, a giant rabbit, in Hackey. Members of the public prevented this from happening, though, which is a good thing. Another piece of work (the large crane on Hanbury Street off Brick Lane) was covered up by a banner for a while until the community forced the council to remove it.


A hedgehog

Another view of the hedgehog

Toward Old Street station, at the end of Rivington Street

This was taken from the car park on Great Eastern Street

Rat on Goulston Street

A Walk in Regent's Park

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A few weeks ago, I took a friend from the states around London, and we went to Regent's Park. Regent's Park is quite possibly my favourite park in London (though, it is a difficult choice to pick a favourite), and I always love walking about in the beautiful rose gardens and smelling the roses. I particularly enjoy the walk from the Baker Street side of the park, across the boating lake and up through the rose gardens (Queen Mary's) and around the small lake.

The park and lake; covered with small flowers

When we visited during the weekday, the park was quiet. It is amazing how quiet parts of London are during the typical work hours during the week. We virtually had the park to ourselves while the rest of London was busy at work.

A yellow rose

The gardeners were busy planting one of the most beautiful gardens in the park. This seculded area always has bright and beautiful flower displays with a fountain centrepiece. The gardeners were busy planting it.

Beautiful garden in Regent's Park


In the Queen Mary's rose garden section, I took some photographs of roses and watched a bee flit from rose to rose. 

Queen Mary's rose garden in Regent's Park

A bee on a rose

Red roses

After the trip to the park, we walked down Great Portland Street, down Goodge Street to Tottenham Court Road, and then down Long Acre to Aldgate and Fleet Street. We had dinner at one of my favourite London restaurants, Black and Blue, near Goodge Street. Black and Blue is a chain of steak (though they serve other meats as I do not eat steak) restaurants in the city. I took a photograph of the chicken meal I had. There are many nice restaurants and cafes around Great Portland Street. 

Black and Blue chicken dinner

For my birthday in June, I visited Warner Brother Studios to see the Harry Potter tour. This was a fun day out, and we easily spent most of the day here. We saw props and costumes, full sets, large-scale models of various locations used in the film, and saw the techniques used to bring the Harry Potter franchise to life.

The first set that we discovered was the Great Hall (Hogwarts). We saw many of the costumes in this room, and each corner was dedicated to costumes that the actors and actresses wore for each house (ie, Gryffindor). The front of the Great Hall showcased many costumes of the staff members. The detail in this room was amazing. 

The Great Hall

We also saw the sets for the Gryffindor house sitting room and the boys' bedroom. The rooms were filled with props and costumes. 

Gryffindor dormatory room at Hogwarts with costumes worn by Hermione, Harry, and Ron.

We saw the classroom for the Dark Arts, including several glass jars filled with unique items that were gathered and labelled individually. It looked like the studio employees had fun with this fine detail and coming up with some creative solutions, including what to put into the jars and what to label them. 

Snape's costume was also on display, and the potions on the table had self-stirring couldrons. The room was made to look like it is underground.

Dark Arts classroom with potions and Professor Snape's costume

Hagrid's house and Weasley's house (sets) were also on display. In the Weasley's house, many of the items moved by magic. For example, a knife sliced a vegetable. The brush in the sink washed a pan, and the iron was doing the ironing. The costumes that the Weasley family wore were also on display. The shelves in the kitchen were also stocked with their own packaging for cereals, created by the graphic designers who worked on the Harry Potter films. (That would have been a fun job.)

Ron Weasley's family's house

Professor Dumbledore's office was also a set with the costumes on display. The books were re-bound Yellow Pages, and the portraits around the room (not shown) were based on Warner Brother's staff and celebrities who worked on the series. 

Half-way through the exhibition was a kiosk selling Butterbeer. I had to have a try. The drink tasted very sweet. It was made of ice cream, cream, soda, and a carmel-like syrup. 

Professor Dumbledore's room and costumes; Butterbeer glass

I saw the full set of Diagon Alley, the street where Harry and his friends went to have fun and buy their supplies for school.

Diagon Alley

Full-scale homes were created for Harry's foster family's home and Harry's biological parents' home. The wooden bridge at Hogwarts was also included, and it was created with strong angles to give a wider perception. The angles were filmed to give depth and perspective.
Wooden bridge at Hogwarts

Large-scale models and other props were also on display.

A large-scale model

The large-scale model of Hogwarts was on display, and the room was much larger than my flat. The lighting changed depending on the time of day, and it was on a cycle. The detail in this was amazing. There were monitors around the model with scenes from the film and how the images were super-imposed of one character walking (on a blue-screen treadmill in a blue-screen room) and instantly transferred into the grounds of Hogwarts.

Large-scale model of Hogwarts and the grounds, with changing lighting to show the different times of the day.

Have you been to the tour? What did you think?

Interactive Art: Dalston House

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The three-dimension and illusional art installation, Dalston House, was part of Beyond Barbican this year. Beyond Barbican is a summer arts event that features work outside the city's walls. The installation was created by Leandro Erlich. The work consists of a facade of a townhouse laying on the ground with a mirror projected in front of it. Visitors can photograph themselves 'hanging from' the facade of the house. This is a fun and interactive piece. The installation was exhibited throughout the summer, until the beginning of August. It was popular with both adults and children.


For more information about Beyond Barbica, view:

Lego London Underground Maps

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To celebrate 150 years of the London Underground, five tubes maps representing current, historic (starting in 1927) and future maps (for the year 2020) of the underground have been constructed from Lego bricks and unveiled earlier this summer at King's Cross station.

The 2020 map is located at King's Cross, but the other four can be seen at other tube stations: South Kensington (1927), Piccadilly  Circus (1933), Green Park (1968), and Stratford (current). Visitors to one of these stations can also pick up a leaflet on how to create their own London Underground logo out of Lego bricks. 

Piccadilly Circus Lego tube map (1933)

Each tube map is made up of over 1,000 Lego bricks. They were created by Duncan Titmarch and unveiled by him and his son in June.

Green Park Lego tube map (1968) with close-ups

After the summer, the tube maps will be taken to the London Transport Museum and displayed.

I've combined some street art that I have discovered over the past few months (by various artists) into one entry as the streets have been ever-changing this season with new artwork appearing every week and many artists visiting the east end of London. This entry will feature artwork from Akse, Vhils, Bailon, Sliks, Grud, Drypnz and Vinz.


As news of the royal baby was being celebrated, this artwork appeared off Brick Lane, which I thought was a tribute to baby George. The artwork is called "Mikel I", according to the artist's website. The artist is Akse.

Akse is a French street artist with Vietnamese origins. He is currently based in Manchester in England. He started painting letters but moved on to paint portraits and has had much recognition.

For more information and artwork, visit:

Portrait of a baby by Akse

An older portrait on a shutter by Akse

Works by Akse and other artists


Spanish street artist Vinz has been busy creating new work in east London earlier this summer. This new work includes bold type with a human or human-like character. One of these includes an overweight torso with a fish's head with a fast food restaurant's slogan. I've photographed and added the others below. One of these was reused for Akse's (see above) work. Can you guess which one it is? For more artwork from this artist, view: 

Various artwork from Vinz; the 'Walkin' work was adapted by Akse




Bailon, a street artist from Brazil, normally paints murals that use floral imagery combined with birds or fish. The artist has painted quite a few walls in London over the past few months. Two of those have been contributions to the Canvas Project wall on Great Eastern Street.

More of his work can be seen on his website here:

Various murals painted by Bailon in east London; Four-panel mural on Great Eastern Street (Bailon)


Hunto and Bailon

Grud, Sliks, Drypnz

The next pieces feature a combination of artists and an evolution of the 'canvas'. Sliks, a Brazilian artist, was inspired by loneliness. He uses layered textures and colours. The contributions below involve Bailon and also Grud. (For more information about him, visit:

Narcélio Grud, a.k.a. Grud, is also a Brazilian artist. For more artwork, see: 

Sliks and Bailon

Grud and Sliks completed mural; Grud begins work on the mural; Drypnz adds a mural above Grud's and Sliks' a few days after their work is completed

Sliks and Pure Evil

Jon Drypnz lives in New Zealand, and he has created a series of shapes of running-man paintings around east London recently. More of his work can be seen here:


Drypnz and Mr. Penfold contributed on the next piece. (Read about Mr. Penfold here.)

Drypnz and Mr. Penfold


Alexandre Farto, known as Vhils, is a Portuguese street artist. Two prominent murals are located in east London. (At the time of publishing this, the one in Ely's yard next to Ronzo's pigeon has been removed.) The pieces have been carved into the walls - a technique known as 'explosive etching'. Most of the subjects for the murals are individuals that the artist meets in cities.

More of his work can be seen on his website here:

Two works by Vhils in east London

Vhils and Ronzo

'Gromit Unleashed' in Bristol, Part 1

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A couple of weekends ago, I visited Bristol to take part in the charity sculpture walk "Gromit Unleashed". I have been looking forward to this since January, when I first heard about it. Bristol hosted Wow! Gorillas in Bristol a couple of years ago, and I enjoyed visiting them and interacting with the mobile phone application that enabled me to find them and to mark them as discovered. This may sound a little bit sad, but I have been looking forward to "Gromit Unleashed" more than anything else this year.

'Bunty' by Paula Bowles

For those readers who do not know, Gromit is the famous canine in the Wallace and Gromit short animations. Gromit appeared in a full-length feature film a few years ago called 'The Curse of the Were-Rabbit'. Aardman Studios, the company that created Wallace and Gromit, also created the film Chicken Run

'Salty Sea Dog' by Peter Lord; 'The King' by Stephen McKay; 'Bark at Ee' by Leigh Flurry - outside Aardman Studios

Aardman Studios are based in Bristol, and they, along with many other businesses in and around Bristol, are sponsoring the "Gromit Unleashed" sculpture charity trail. The sculptures feature Gromit, painted and interpreted by artists; there are eighty of these unique Gromit sculptures to be discovered. All money made from merchandise and apps purchased, as well as the sale of the Gromits at the auction this fall, will be donated to Bristol Children's Hospital. This is for a good cause and gets artists and the public involved.

'What a Wind Up!' by Trevor Bayliss

I have added a few photographs of some of my favourite photographs and Gromits. (I'll also be adding another entry to display even more photographs from my weekend of discovering Gromits.) Each Gromit is uniquely designed: from comical Gromits covered with a bucket of black paint to strawberry Gromits to blueprint-machine Gromits to Union Jack Gromits to astronaut or pirate Gromits.

'Being Gromit Malkovich' by Thomas Dowdeswell; 'Watch Out, Gromit' by Gerald Scarfe; 'Gromberry' by Simon Tozer; 'Gromit-o-Matic' by Donough O'Malley; 'Jack' by Martin Band; 'Astro' by Ignition DG

I have selected a few nice Gromits to showcase. More information about these selected Gromits is below.

Tim Miness was inspired by the Bristol engineer (and creator of the Clifton Suspension Bridge), Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He created a gorilla sculpture a couple of years ago for Wow! Gorillas. Since the gorilla was so well-received, he used the same idea for his Isambark Kingdog Brunel sculpture, shown below. The detail on the back side of the sculpture shows a painting with a scene of a rocket from Wallace and Gromit above the Clifton Suspension Bridge, an icon of Bristol and work of Brunel.

'Isambark Kingdog Brunel' by Tim Miness

The Royal Mint worked with artist Stephanie Roberts to create a mosaic using ten thousand one pence pieces. The medallian on the back side of the Gromit was designed by Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park.

'National Treasure' by The Royal Mint

Gav Strange's Gromit uses interesting typography and imagery to display statistics and facts about Aardman and 'Wallace and Gromit'. I have photographed a few of these and included them below.

'Stat's the way to do it, Lad!' by Gav Strange

Tom Deams' Gromit sculpture of a Gromit dressed as a super hero includes a street art mural. Deams is a street artist based in Bristol. (It was nice to see Gromit with street art and to see Wallace and Gromit looking very street.)

'Hero' by Tom Deams

Joanna Lumley created a poetry-laden Gromit that is painted with fragments of poems. Sadly, this Gromit was damaged by vandals about a day after the launch of the exhibit. I was happy to see it repaired and back on the street.

'Poetry in Motion' by Joanna Lumley

The following Gromit was created by the creator of 'Wallace and Gromit', Nick Park. He wanted to create a Gromit with witty headlines as used in the films. 

'Newshound' by Nick Park

Julie Vernon's Gromit is golden; it was inspired by golden Buddha statues in Thailand and the post boxes painted gold for the Olympic games (Gold Post Boxes Celebrate Olympic Gold Medals). 

'Golden Gromit' by Julie Vernon

Sarah Matthews was inspired by the city of Bristol to create these illustrations with scenes of the city.

'Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion' by Sarah Matthews


After a day of visiting as many of the Gromits in the city centre as possible, I stopped off at the hotel in Clifton where I enjoyed views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. I also enjoyed a Gromit-shaped shortbread and chocolate biscuit.  

Gromit biscuits

Have you been to see the Gromits yet? Which one is your favoruite?

Street Art: Alexis Díaz

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A couple of weeks ago, Puerto Riocan artist Alexis Díaz completed his elephant-crossed-with-an-octopus mural located on Hanbury Street, off Brick Lane. I watched the progress of the mural take shape over several days and documented it. The artist's technique is to use hash-marks to define light and shadow. (I've included some close-up photographs of the technique below.)

Alexis Díaz's finished mural, the elephant-octopus on Hanbury Street

The work was in progress over several days, and the pencil sketch of the creature could be seen clearly on the white walls as a guide to the artist about the flow of the work.

The work in progress with a close-up of the hatch-mark technique

On a couple of the days, I saw Alexis Díaz working on the piece. This piece took the artist a long time, which really makes me appreciate it even more.

Alexis Díaz working on the mural in various stages of completion

Street artist Alexis Díaz often creates mash-up artworks.  Previous examples of his work include fish-hands, frog-hands, humanesque animals, and skulls. 

For more information about this artist, view his official Facebook page: at: 

Basingstoke 2013 Festival Yarn Bombing

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For the 2013 Basingstoke Festival, a group of knitters got together to create pieces to donate to hospice. The squares of yarn were knitted to display around trees and other objects at the top of town in Basingstoke. After the festival, the squares will be knitted and given away to charity. I went to look at the knitted work around the tree a couple of weekends ago. (The Basingstoke Festival came to an end on the 14th of July.)


I like seeing art interacting with everyday things, such as trees and lamp posts and watching others enjoying it. It is even nicer to know that it will be going to charity to be put to good use after the Basingstoke Festival. 

One of my favourite street artists has been busy painting on the east London streets. I saw him painting on the wall that was updated with many of his pieces during the Olympics last year. I originally covered his work in the article: Street Art: Don Smith

Paul 'Don' Smith's newest work near Brick Lane: Frank Sinatra

On the Thursday of the week before last, I saw him half-way through painting a portrait of Jimi Hendrix while I popped out of the office in the middle of the afternoon to get a drink. By the time it was time to leave work at 18:00, the work was finished. I watched as he completed some of the fine detail on Hendrix using a spray can of white paint. I recognised his style immediately. I was really excited to see him painting, and we had a quick chat. I told him that I really liked seeing his work and he mentioned being in the area recently to correct his Nelson Mandela portrait (located on Brick Lane near the train bridge) that had been tagged over.

Don Smith adds highlights and detail to the Jimi Hendrix painting; the finished painting; the stencil on the ground with cans of paint.

On the Friday that just passed, I was on my way out of the office at 18:00 when I saw Paul Don Smith painting on the same wall again, over the top of paste-ups that covered the Olympic Gold Medalist pieces. He was just starting the Frank Sinatra piece that I pictured above. He had not been there long as I watched him in the first stage of painting a new portrait over a stencil.  This time, he had placed his famous Banker tag image on what looked like a tube map so that others would recognise him. This did the trick as a little crowd had formed, and a couple of the people knew the Banker image and called him "Tap-man." He responded by spray-painting the banker image onto items before continuing with his street art. I asked him for one, and he recognised me from the previous week as we had chatted for a few minutes. 

I had the Banker image spray-painted inside my sketch book that I keep inside my handbag. This really made my day to get a copy of the famous Banker tag to take away with me.

Unfortunately, I could not stay to watch or document the work being finished. Trains out of London were delayed, and I had had an exhausting week at work. 

Paul Don Smith uses a stencil to paint a portrait; the first stage of the portrait is complete; the Banker image spray-painted onto a tube map with a rolled-up stencil and cans of spray paint; Don Smith painting the Banker image for a fan and photographs of the Banker image in my sketchbook with the street art in the background.

While exploring east London in the past few months, since I last published the original article about the street artist, I have discovered other pieces. Many of these are new. 

A weeping queen near Nude Espresso (image has recently been painted over); image of Union Jack on a shutter on Brick Lane; Johnny Cash on Hanbury Street (2013); Nelson Mandela appeared recently over the top of the artist's rainbow image; birds (2013 and possibly 2012); the Banker image; 'The Who', located near Hoxton station (2013); a tribute to Lee Rigby (June 2013); Banker image

I will keep you posted for any new pieces of street art that I find. 


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