Monday, 27 June 2011

GF's Mysterious art in St.Helier

(Updated Sun 7th Aug - all missing now)

I noticed these appearing around town this weekend, and it has me rather intrigued. It was an enjoyable scavenger hunt to have a good look around to try to find as many as possible. See if you can find any that I've missed!

First I noticed this one, possibly due to the jaunty angle which caught my eye.

(status - missing between Wed 27th July and Sun 31st July)

It was here where a row of buildings are planned to become a major new office complex (privately developed by Le Mas.) - hopefully rescuing the Esplanade car park from its unwanted demise in return for taxpayer funded offices.

This one would probably have faded in the sun quite quickly...

(status - missing, as of Weds 29th June)

.. opposite Tourism Towers.

Another splash of colour...

(status - missing, as of Tues 28th June)

.. not far from the town hall, Seale St.

One by Foot's old HMV mural has been attacked already...

(status - present but damaged, as of Fri 15th July, missing totally Wed 20th July)

.. but just around the corner another lives on. I like the way this photo turned out - decaying paint has such a delightful organic quality :)

(status - missing, as of Fri 1st July)

It's not just walls getting the new adornments, "street furniture" gets it too...

(status - missing, as of Wed 29th June, was on phones cabinet near Pier Road car-park)

.. one of the hardest to spot as it blended in so well with urban notices. Was thought missing, but as of Saturday 2nd July, it was still there but moved onto the wall.

(status - missing,
Wed 6th July. Bottom of Pier Road opposite Town Church)

This one was easier to spot - so out of place on a traffic sign!

(status - missing, as of Tues 28th June, was at Seaton Place / Sand St.)

.. closer.

This one made an audacious appearance in the precinct on BhS.

(status - missing, as of Thurs 7th July)

It makes a change from spray paint and permanent marker pens to see genuine art glued to the townscape, I hope they manage to stay in place for a while as it brightens the place up a bit in a whimsical way. I tried prising off the one that was already damaged and it seems to have a good strong glue holding it in place, so they're not going anywhere in a hurry. I wonder if it's part of a promotion for some enterprise (reminds me of the little pink figurines that popped up around the island a few years back when the iQ people launched a shortlived magazine), or simply guerrilla art and GF (?) is Jersey's answer to Banksy? It would be awkward for the artist to own up to it if the property owners are annoyed at the glue damage vandalism!

Update - Tues 28th June - I see Tom has found some more...

At Westmount, on the hairpin bend with a great view.

(status - missing, as of Weds 29th June)

Lower down the hill by St.Helier House...
(I think "GF" must live around here somewhere!)

(status - missing, as of Sat 23rd July)

Near the playground.

(status - missing between Wed 27th July and Sun 31st July)

At Cheapside/Westmount Hill - on a phones cabinet.

(status - noted missing Wednesday 6 July, engineer spotted working on the open cab.)

In the Parade on the hospital...

(status - missing, between Sat 6th Aug and Sun 7th)

And I found some more - I won't say where because it might be inviting theft :)

.. and another in the Parade, side of the photographer's studio shop.

(status - missing, between Wed 27th July and Thu 4th Aug)

On a bin near the take-away in Seaton Place, at corner en-route to Seale St.

(status - noted missing between weekend and Weds 6 July)

On a car-park near a phone box.

(status - missing, between of Sun 31st July and Wed 3rd Aug)

I spotted this one today (Thurs 7th July) on Spar as I drove down Mulcaster St. - I had to go around the block to catch it :)

Roughly a mirror image of an earlier one, odd to see one of these pairs separated.

(status - missing, during daytime Wed 3rd Aug)

Nice to see they're still appearing - even if it's on cheap board and not canvas (like my favourite one now missing).

Spotted this one near West's Ctr., Sat 9th July
Good to see GF has spread his/her wings a bit farther north :)

(status - missing, Mon 11th July)

Spotted this one on the same cabinet as an earlier one in Pier Road on Sat 9th July, by the evening it had gone.

(status - missing as of Sat 9th July)

Not surprised it went so soon, being flimsy cardboard!

Another flimsy cardboard one, surprisingly far north of town, on the boarded up workshop by Gas Place, spotted Sun 10th July. Matches the background so well I've cropped it close.

(status - missing next day, 11th July)

Spotted Mon 11th July on the old JEP building in Charles/Bath St. but I wasn't able to snap it. So I alerted Tom who managed to save it in time, as it was being thrown away!

(status - no longer in place, but in safe hands if GF wants it back!)

We both prefer what was on the back!

Many thanks to Tom for the photos.

Another cardboard one, found on the opticians at Bath St. / Hilgrove St, and photographed by Tom, Mon 11th July.

(status - missing, between Wed 27th July and Fri 5th Aug)

And one more found and photographed by Tom, Monday 11th July. Phone box, near the park again.

(status - missing between Wed 27th July and Sun 31st July)

I found this nice and colourful orange effort up quite high at the Sand St / Seaton Place junction, Tues 12th July.

(status - missing by lunchtime Weds 13th July)

The same day I spotted this one on a phone box in the Parade, probably won't stay around for long.

(status - missing as of Fri 22nd July)

Another from Tom, thanks! On a traffic signals cabinet somewhere along the waterfront by Les Jardins de la Mer

(status - missing in weekdays 18-22nd July)

It seems that they go missing quickly from traffic signs, bins as they're emptied, postboxes during collections, and equipment cabinets when engineers turn up to work there. And houseproud property owners of course! Your best bet is art-friendly wall owners, vacant properties, and phone boxes seem to do fairly well as they don't need all that frequent coin-collection and cleaning. It has certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities, and how long flyers can expect to remain on urban features - at the moment I can't pass roadside equipment cabinets without checking them out!


Like said...

It's graffiti art, and of an uncommonly high standard for Jersey (although there are and have been other fine examples amidst the dreck). I doubt the artist will own up, which would be a shame in a way because some background info would be good but then again the enigma is part of the art. However, if he or she is reading this article, I know a musician that is interested in commissioning CD cover art. Very good post as always crapaudmatic. cheers.

Anonymous said...

Great work! I only found four of these so far. I think whoever is doing this is putting them up rapidly now. I like them, and I was disappointed to see the destroyed one. Here are the four I found so far:

crapaudmatic said...

Thank you both, great to hear from you. Thanks for the new Jersey blog link, hadn't noticed that one before and I'll add it to my list.

Anonymous said...

Nice finds, they really are a cut above the usual stuff, and it's nice to see some non-corporate art in the Island for a change.

Anonymous said...

More great finds, nice work. I walked down to see the 'fade in the sun' one by Jersey Tourism today but didn't find it. Now I know why. We were probably walking by each other with our cameras today, that's funny. If you are up for a meet-up send me an email, tom at , that goes for anyone wanting to do street photography here in St Helier. I'm no Cartier-Bresson but I'm working on it. Cheers.

crapaudmatic said...

Thanks Tom, but no, sorry - it would probably be fun but it's outdone by my need to be as anon as possible :)

Like said...

Great update. At risk of sounding a bit over-the-top ... Ah what the heck! These paintings are some of the best artwork I have ever seen in Jersey, including those I have seen being sold for £1000s in posh galleries. I do hope the artist has seen your fine photographs.

crapaudmatic said...

Yes I'm very impressed - he/she should stick some up on those stands in the Square amongst the amateurs and show them up :)

crapaudmatic said...

(status updated for these today)

Two more missing, noticed absent Friday lunchtime :(

I wonder if that's sooner or later than the artist was expecting? Will it put them off doing any more?

Anonymous said...

I hope the artist sees the positive comments here and is inspired to do some more. Also, I hope this inspires others to do likewise.

I can see TTS removing the ones on street signs, but the others will hopefully be left in place for much longer.

Regardless, the art now has a permanent home here online for others to see.

crapaudmatic said...

Yes, I'd like to see more. I wouldn't say no to even buying a larger version of some of the better ones.

I hope the removals hasn't put him/her off.

I wonder if anyone else from the local art scene recognises the style - and, how the artist expects to produce anything like this in future without the style being recognised?

crapaudmatic said...

More now missing, but one new find!

crapaudmatic said...

One new one found, and the BhS one has gone.

crapaudmatic said...

Updated today, Sunday, with new ones.
Interesting use of cardboard now!

Anonymous said...

I can't quite decide what the new square red one is meant to be. The wife says it's a Jersey Cow, but I don't see it. I like the head on the back but I'm still confused by the front.

I want to go look on the back of all of them now, but I can't do it without disturbing them.

If you see one of these that is removed from a business, try going in and asking them for it, you might get lucky.

crapaudmatic said...

Looks like someone standing upon someone else's shoulders to me :)

It's probably a one-off that he/she reused a piece of cardboard.

Thanks again for the shots.

carlos de la parra said...

This entire row is made up of grat rendiyions.
The town should hire the artist and promote him instead of persecuting him.
The same goes for many of the other renditions here on this blog.

Anonymous said...