By Sam Rkaina, Local Government Reporter / email@example.com
A PROJECT to turn one of Bristol’s drabbest streets into a giant canvas is capturing the imagination of street artists.
Up to 75 spray painters have been at work on the See No Evil project today – three times more than originally planned.
More than a dozen pieces of street art have already gone up in Nelson Street, which is being steadily transformed during this week by some of the biggest names in the genre from around the world.
These pictures show some of the latest works in progress, including a ten-storey high mother and child by Los Angeles mural painter El Mac.
Organisers hope that See No Evil will become Bristol’s next big tourist attraction following fellow graffiti artist Banksy’s takeover of the City Museum and Art Gallery two years ago.
The three-day event is being officially launched today, as artists continue to work on pieces on the sides of buildings, in alleyways and on walkways.
Around 40 artists were working on pieces throughout Nelson Street and Christmas Street on Wednesday and that was expected to go up to 75 before the event climaxes with an outdoor street party on Saturday.
Use is being made of a number of vacant properties in the area.
Owners of the Weapon of Choice art gallery in Park Street have taken over a vacant shop on Union Street next to Thomas Cook to help promote the event.
The “pop-up” art gallery will sell work by many of the artists involved, from Bristol and overseas.
It will be open for a month, and also sell T-shirts and prints of the work as it goes up in Nelson Street.
Sam Brandt, of Weapon of Choice, said: “We’re showcasing work from a lot of artists at See No Evil, and we’ll be placing the Broadmead gorilla in here because it was painted by Cheba, one of the artists taking part.
“We will try and showcase Bristol artists that otherwise people might not know about.”
The former post office in Nelson Street next to the Shanghai Knights restaurant has also been taken over, and will be used to provide haircuts and entertainment for visitors.
And tonight, tomorrow and Saturday night the former Royal Sun Alliance building will host a series of tie-in music events. Organised by local promoters Team Love, they will feature performances from some of Bristol’s best up and coming DJs.
All free tickets have now been taken, but a number of other nightspots in the city will be hosting events for people who were not lucky enough to get in.
Bristol’s place-making director Mike Bennett is one of the organisers behind the event.
He said: “We have about 100 volunteers who have turned out to help, and we’ve had calls from more buildings wanting to get involved.
“We’ve also had people asking if this is going to be one-off or an annual event.
“It seems to have genuinely captured people’s imagination.”
For more go to www.seenoevilbristol.co.uk.