Art and soul
Last year we collaborated with four of our favourite artists, illustrators and creatives in Bristol’s art scene on our new brand. We speak to them here and share some of their brilliant work
Given the opportunity to take a “trippy ride of feel-good absurdity … to a place that oozes a twisted harmony and zen”, we find it difficult to refuse, which is why we jumped at the chance of working with master of the idiosyncratic, Loch Ness. His work – all kaleidoscopic characters and psychedelic street-art cool – has been snapped up by brands like BBC Radio 6 Music, TATE Britain and Rip Curl… and can now be seen on a Bristol Water van near you. Loch Ness finds inspiration in a variety of places: environmental and social injustices, wildlife, conspiracies and the street art that surrounds us. “Seeing new pieces pop up all around the city is a constant motivation for me to keep creating new works,” he says. For more, visit lochnessart.com.
The eagle-eyed among you will know we’re long-standing fans of Bex Glover, having collaborated with the artist during the creation of our well-travelled water bar, so we relished the idea of working with her again on our new branding. “I grew up in the Somerset countryside and loved exploring the woods and fields,” Bex says. “I’m interested in the idea of our connection to nature and to each other; it’s something I try to depict in my work.” The urban environment and Bristol’s bulging school of street artists have also been an inspiration. “There are so many talented artists in Bristol including those involved in Bristol Water’s branding project,” Bex says. “I am really chuffed that they’ve used my work alongside these artists.” For more, visit instagram.com/bexgloverart.
If it’s a big, fat dose of colour you’re after, look no further than painter, illustrator and lettering artist Zoë Power. Take a saunter round the city and you’ll see her energetic and playful pieces brightening up drab spaces and putting smiles of faces. “Rather than using bland, off-the-shelf graphics, Bristol Water wanted to reflect the city’s vibrant and creative culture through their new branding,” Zoë explains. “I thought my mural of synchronised swimmers for Portishead Lido would be perfect. With its uplifting feel, bright colours and inclusive nature, it’s a great image to be driven across the city on Bristol Water’s vans. Toot toot!” Movements and nature feature heavily in Zoë’s work, but she is “particularly conscious of how female bodies are depicted in public space: I try to paint diverse bodies doing interesting things, not just the slim, shiny-haired women you see on billboards.” Dream commissions include “having a go on that Tobacco Factory wall. Otherwise anything involving a cherry-picker. When I’ve been up a cherry-picker, I can officially say ‘I’ve made it’.” For more, visit zoepower.com.
The natural world, travel memory and imagination feed into the bold, expressionistic work of “artist in the shed” Mary Price. “I’m what you call an intuitive painter,” she says from her brightly decorated, award-winning garden shed studio. “I don’t plan my paintings. Often I start with building up a rich tapestry of marks and colours in acrylic paint, which informs the direction of the painting. Sometimes I’m inspired to bring in imagery and sometimes paintings remain entirely abstract.” Mary was “absolutely thrilled” to be invited by Bristol Water to collaborate and loved the imaginative use of her work, Happy Tree – Full Moon Party. “It’s a huge validation for me,” says Mary. “I was born in Bristol and have been driving past Bristol Water HQ for years, so it’s really exciting to be connected with the company.” For now, Mary can be found in her shed, listening to podcasts and painting palm trees like crazy. “They’ve been flying off the walls,” Mary says. For more, visit instagram.com/artistintheshed.