The Upfest Urban Paint Festival 2016 closes today after a successful weekend which attracted some 30,000 visitors to the Bristol event. The festival follows the huge success of 2015 which saw 300 artist from across the globe descend on Bedminster, south Bristol. This year’s theme revolved around the Mr Men characters, celebrating 45 years since their creation. Bristol even got its own Mr Men character created especially – Mr Graff. Artist Miss Wah said it was very popular with grafitti artists across the world – and was a place to showcase different talents.
This year’s line-up was the most diverse collection of urban artists in one location with 40 countries as far-flung as Canada, Australia, Argentina, Israel and Europe participating. The line-up included 2016 festival artist Gemma Compton, city favourites, Inkie, Jody, Cheba & Cheo, the distinctive Spanish duo Pichi&Avo, the phenomenal Dutch 3D floor artist Leon Keer, non-conformist urban/stencil artist Fin DAC, the incredible anamorphic graffiti artist – Odeith, the Pioneer of Aerosol X-ray Art SHOK-1, Dutch abstract graffiti artist Mr June in search of the perfect form and London based artist Louis Masai who’s distinctive creations have been described as a form of environmental activism painting.
The Upfest production crew played key roles in large scale public artworks such as See No Evil and obviously the festivals own annual super festival here in Bristol, where painting 50m tall buildings has become something of a day job for most of us, little did we think twelve months ago we would start working with the National Trust on a UK first, taking Street Art to the heart of the British country side.
For the last month Upfest temporarily moved home to Croome Court, a mid 18th century Neo-Palladian mansion surrounded by an extensive landscaped parkland near Pershore in south Worcestershire. The mansion, and park, were designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown with some of the internal rooms designed by Robert Adam.
Understandably the National Trust weren’t to keen on a full on street art production directly on to the surface of one of the UK’s most distinguished properties, luckily for us they were ahead of the game on this and with a huge scaffold structure in the pipeline we had the perfect opportunity to experiment and test the ideal solution to temporarily in case this country side gem and bring some further impact to the project known as Croome Redefined.
Tom Bennett, Creative Director at Croome explained; ‘The National Trust is pleased to working with the Upfest production crew and welcome emerging artists to Croome, part of the wider Heritage Lottery funded project to repair and share Croome Court. Engaging new talent is one of the many ways in which Croome is doing things differently to redefine the role of the country mansion house for today’s society.’
Upfest 2016 is Europe’s largest, free, street art & graffiti festival, attracting over 300 artists painting 28 venues throughout Bedminster & Southville, Bristol from 23rd – 25th July.