Wet weather, Bath rugby and the BBC’s Children in Need all conspired to rob Walcot Street traders of sizeable crowds when they organised a recent ‘Winterfest’ week-end to promote their individual and artisan credentials.
However, according to one of the organisers – Jenny Pollitt from Lane House Arts – the event succeeded in pulling the local community together and gave a real boost to traders efforts to increase footfall in their direction.
When you are out on a limb – and it’s Christmas Market time – you have to push your originality as Bath’s ‘Artisan Quarter’ – the place you’ll find traditional, hand-made arts and crafts AND some special places for foodies – and even lovers of wine and real ale!
While most of the trappings of Walcot’s ‘Winterfest’ have been tidied away, there are a few more permanent reminders.
A large mural – originally painted by ‘Stanley Donwood’ – the pen name of English artist and writer Dan Rickwood – has been oversprayed.
Stanley is well known for his close association with the pop group Radiohead – having illustrated many of their albums and posters.
Now it’s the turn of Frome-based street artist Paris to give it a new look. He – in his turn – is Coldplay’s ‘artist in residence’ and travels around the world with the band.
He was in Walcot Street today to finish off his mural. It’s just across the road from some more new street art. This now decorates the side wall of Yammo Restaurant and is the work of well-known Bristol artists Inkie and Cheba.
Both artworks were organised by Grant Robson and Ollie Perryman – known as RSNK.
While l was waiting for Paris to arrive – off the train from Frome – l went down Walcot Street to meet up – at the London Road end – with Jenny Pollitt from Lane House Arts.
I wanted to know how she would react to comments from those who might consider the new street additions as more grafitti than art.
It’s going to be a busy New Year for Walcot traders who are in the middle of negotiations with B&NES planners about more permanent ways of marking the area’s individuality.
They are looking for street signage – at either end – which will ‘Welcome’ people to Walcot and also give it an ‘Artisan Quarter’ branding.
Now back to the Hilton Hotel end of the street to chat to Paris and discover what has inspired him in producing his new mural.
l’ll be back to see the finished work.
In the meantime what do Bath Newseum followers think about more street art for Bath.
Maybe you could nominate a building to get the Paris treatment?