Upfest Summer Editions kicks-off with climate crisis mural

mural on the tobacco factory

The new mural on the Tobacco Factory showcases Greta Thunberg

The world’s climate crisis will soon be even harder to ignore – to celebrate Upfest Summer Editions, Bristol-based artist Jody has started work on a brand-new mural on the Tobacco Factory.

Painting live until Friday 24 May, this new piece will pay tribute to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old Swedish environmental activist famous for starting the school strike for climate and raising awareness of the impact the world’s climate crisis has on younger generations.

Steve Hayles, founder of Upfest, commented on Jody’s piece: “We love to see art comment on topical issues and this new piece by Jody we hope will help to create more conversations on the issue of climate change and its effect on our community. We hope that his work will resonate with the people who come to see it and inspire some to learn more about the issue.”

Jody is an Upfest veteran, and his iconic work has donned many of south Bristol’s walls. Creating thought-provoking pieces that explore tougher themes, his style often includes strong photorealistic female portraits in a dark and glamorous aesthetic.

Upfest Summer Editions, crafted with Posca, will honour the Tobacco Factory’s sustainable ethos as the community hub celebrates 25 years in Bedminster.

Jody commented on his latest piece: “I’ve always wanted the opportunity to paint the Tobacco Factory wall – it’s the biggest and most challenging wall in Bristol. I was approached with a very specific brief of the Climate Crisis and when Greta, the teenage activist’s name, was mentioned, I immediately jumped at the chance to paint someone so relevant and outspoken. I hope that the finished wall will cross all barriers of age, ethnicity and language to make a bold statement about the environmental struggle that we all face.”

Upfest will help the Tobacco Factory to celebrate its 25th anniversary on 25 and 26 May, with seven artists painting live in the car park including; Alex Lucas, John Curtis, Kid Crayon, Sophie Long and Stephen Quick. Andy Council will also be painting in the Creative Space on North Street until Saturday 25 May.

Many artists have already been confirmed for the upcoming Summer Editions programme, including Andy Council, Clare Hoops, David Blatch, Elaine Carr, John Curtis, Loch Ness and more at the Bristol Tattoo Convention, and Kin_dose at the Old Bookshop in June.

July will see L7matrix and Dale Grimshaw painting at North Street, and Cheo at Red Point Climbing Centre, as well as Upfest at the Hen on 28 July – a mini Upfest live painting event, with artists to be confirmed.

Moving on into autumn, Zoe Power and Gemma Compton will be painting in September, with Guy Denning finishing off the programme in October.

Steve Hayles commented: “The response to Upfest Summer Editions has been great and we’re really happy to continue to bring world-class artists to Bristol in a year that we are having a break from the main festival.”

To keep track of the Upfest Summer Editions news, updates and announcements, follow @Upfest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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