Living in Camden Town, it takes a lot for me to be impressed by the graffiti scene in any given place – but some parts of Bristol almost blew my beloved London borough out of the water! The street art of Gloucester Road was some of the best I have ever seen and today I will share it with you.
Gloucester Road is Europe’s longest street of independent shops, which is a bit of a shock to those of us used to the overwhelmingly standardised shopping experience offered by most urban high streets. When I stepped onto the street, the flower child inside my heart rejoiced when seeing this endless row of windows filled with organic produce, vintage clothes and antiques.
Unfortunately, its indie spirit is slowly but surely being crushed. The first shop on the street is now a Sainsbury’s Local and you can find oversized chains like The Carphone Warehouse wedged in between its independent businesses. The one thing keeping its rebelliousness alive is the incredible graffiti lining the road – the street is practically a bright outdoor gallery with free entry!
If I hadn’t been rushing to explore the city centre, I could have spent hours wandering around and snapping photos of the beautiful street art of Gloucester Road, as well as the neighbouring Stokes Croft and Cheltenham Road which are included in this post. Good thing I captured at least some of the area’s charm, because it’s in a perpetual state of artistic flux. Elaborate murals are routinely covered up just to be replaced by another intricate work of art, so the rare gems you notice one day may no longer be there the next time you visit. So check these out before they begin to disappear, much like the traditional character of what is sometimes seen as the last great British high street…
How do you feel about street art, and graffiti in particular? Do you think it adds to a city’s character or takes away from it? Share your thoughts with me!