Wandering to the next page


90 x 90 cm
Pen and ink on cotton board
In an expedition that unfolded over four years of living in and exploring Bristol, this work was drawn incrementally, regularly, for two or three hours each day throughout a one-year period. It was produced as a multi-faceted tribute – a homage to conversations with Bristolians, to everyday rituals of living in the city, to archive discoveries, to hours spent in libraries, to connecting with communities, and to the workings of a place that presented a personal definition of ‘home’. Bristol is a detailed celebration of the city’s independent spirit and bold identity – a work about the fortitude and friendliness of people.

Surrogate home

An exploration of a place that came closest to ‘home’ in feeling; Bristol’s independent spirit and consummate friendliness provided a sanctuary for my practice and for many other makers. Through a four-year stretch of working locally, I dove ink-first into Bristol life, devoting time to every nook, cranny and alley that presented itself as a thread in the fabric of the city.
The contemporary arts institution known as Spike Island is named after the area in which it’s built. It can be accessed by bicycle, using the locally known Chocolate Path. Drawn using a square pattern that presents the many paving blocks, the path emulates a feeling of riding over a chocolate bar.

A place of people

Bristol’s soul is cultivated by its people. As a small thriving city, it packs a worthy punch of subcultures, with a history that is worn rightfully upon its sleeve. The work was created as a by-product of living in Montpelier, nearby Stokes Croft. Here, I was able to meet an assortment of characters, accumulating a wealth of stories, and making friends for life.
The Malcom X Community Centre, marked here by his glasses and fictional mural, is at the heart of the city's African Caribbean community. The venue is used during the famous St Paul’s Street Carnival – the carnival’s historic logo, a decorative mask, and nearby sound system, symbolise the celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture since 1968.

Balloons of Bristol

For over 200 years, the cultural character of Bristol has been linked with hovering images of its hot air balloons – a fitting example of the city’s gaiety. After four years of living in the city and working on the drawing, I released Bristol back to its people, asking what they might suggest to be drawn inside the last balloon depicted floating above the city. After news of the work featured on BBC South West, I was overwhelmed with suggestions – from the frivolously playful to the delicately profound.
Floating by Clifton Suspension Bridge in a balloon basket.

Children of the 90s

To celebrate Bristol’s history of innovation, my decision for the contents of the last depicted hot air balloon came to be populated by a tribute to the ‘Children of the 90s’ project. Their own logo is a balloon, and so my depiction aimed to symbolise a story that anyone who has been impacted by the spirit of Bristol could share in and value. Dots inside the balloon symbolise and give recognition to each person that took part in the project, which is a longitudinal study that has helped researchers tackle some of the most pressing health questions of our time – speaking directly to the kindness and character of the city.
In the past, Bristol’s passion for flight has made the city a pioneer in aviation. Concorde Way is a cycle route named after the Concorde supersonic airliner, which was assembled in the city. It is marked with a drawing of the delta-wing-shaped aircraft. Above flies the Bristol Fighter, a First World War plane that was developed and built in Filton, Bristol.
Bristol was unveiled in 2014, at the top of the historic lead shot tower – an unusual landmark building that offered audiences a vista across the city whilst they viewed the artwork.

Bristol Blues

The city of Bristol was divided by Brexit, even if the majority of its population voted to remain. In this commemorative reworking of Bristol, this artwork is coloured blue, inspired by Bristol blue glass and in memory of the blue EU flag. Amidst the blue, a lone gold star is placed in the centre of the work to signify the UK as a jettisoned member state. An edition of 50 silkscreen prints were released on January 31, 2020, the day the UK left the EU. The print marks this episode in history and encapsulates the international outlook Bristol has and will, hopefully, always retain.
Bristol’s lone gold star represents the value of unity, signifying the thoughts of the many residents that voted to remain in the European Union.
Bristol Blues is a hand-pulled, dual-colour silkscreen print on 300gsm Somerset Satin paper, printed in Bristol by Bicep Press.