Last week I posted 2 videos on my Instagram about my visit to see various street art murals in Southville, Bristol. This blog post is about my visit to the Greta Thunberg art mural, on the side of the Tobacco Factory building in Southville, Bristol by aerosol artist Jody Thomas.
The art is part of Upfest, one of the biggest yearly street art festivals in the UK and Europe, and features the famous environmental activist, Greta Thunberg. This painting in particular was made even more famous, because for a time, it was used by campaigner Greta Thunberg on her social media account profile picture. It was painted by aerosol artist Jody Thomas, who explains that the mural took more than 2 weeks to complete:
“Around 70% of the wall was painted with water-based paint with an electric spray gun powered by the Tobacco Factories solar cells,” he wrote on Instagram. “I used a minimum of conventional spray paint – around 25 full cans I’ve counted as this was a big consideration given the theme of the wall.’ (Huffpost, 2019).
More about the artist Jody Thomas (from his website):
‘Jody Thomas is a Bristol based artist and designer he began painting in 1988 at the now infamous Barton Hill Youth Club in Bristol developing a strong black and white figurative style alongside other Bristol artists: Inkie, Cheo and Banksy.
Although not officially ‘Graffiti’ in the strict and traditional sense of the word he considers himself more an aerosol artist. His work takes inspiration from fashion and film and takes a strong, graphic and noirish take on photorealistic portraits’
Normally as part of Upfest, the painting on the side of the Tobacco Factory (a multi use building, home to offices, apartments and the Tobacco Factory Theatres) would only last a year, but for obvious reasons, the festival did not take place in 2020.
This iconic art work really does stand out, even in the unlikely location of the side of a supermarket car park. It’s impressive both in scale and message, and really is worth a visit if you’re in the area.