Vanguard in partnership with Vans presents Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement – an exhibition exploring the instrumental role of Bristol’s creatives in the development of British Street Art, from the 1980s to the present day. 

The seminal works, notable moments, key events and extraordinary artists belonging to Bristol’s dynamic history are highlighted in this comprehensive and compelling exhibition, which examines the creative response of the city’s pioneering underground scene throughout the UK’s turbulent social and political history and considers the drive for social change underpinning the work of many of today’s street artists. 

From anarchist origins in the ‘80s and ‘90s through to the explosion of the scene in the early ‘00s, the exhibition brings together one of the largest collections of original works and memorabilia ever seen in the UK. 

Beyond Bristol, Vanguard explores the evolving disciplines of British and Irish artists moving from the street art conversation to bridge contemporary fields by fusing traditional techniques with new technologies. The exhibition also reflects on how a new generation of global creatives are advocating for social and environmental awareness through art on the streets. 

From bronze sculptures to immersive displays, Vanguard reveals a host of new original pieces, as well as rare and unseen works, including bespoke edits from the iconic filmmakers and photographers who documented the unfolding scene. 

As part of the exhibition, Vanguard will also launch a series of exclusive releases from some of Bristol’s finest creatives, including: 

  • An accompanying book featuring worldwide academics, film directors, writers, artists, creatives and specialists reflecting the evolving momentum of the movement 
  • An exclusive album featuring some of the tracks which formed the roots of the world-famous Bristol Sound 
  • Artist led merchandise from various artists featured in the exhibition 

Outside of the exhibition, Vanguard has partnered with Vans to launch an exciting city-wide, community-based outreach programme running throughout the duration, aligning with the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The outreach programme hopes to promote discussion and participation at the intersection of culture and sustainable action and will include art activations, workshops, panels and film screenings. 

Exhibition Highlights 

New and unique works by Bristolian, British and international artists include: 

  • New and original works from Adam Neate, Andy Council, Antony Micallef, Bill Posters, China Mike, Conor Harrington, Dale VMN Collins (formerly known as Dale Marshall), Dicy, Eko, Feek, Filthy Luker, Inkie, Lucas Price, Lucy McLauchlan, Matt Small, Mau Mau, Mr Jago, Paris, Rowdy, Sickboy, Swoon, Will Barras and Xenz 
  • A life-size bronze sculpture of an old favourite from Nick Walker 
  • Kineta Hill and Karen Dew’s photographic projections, Watching Paint Dry, female documenters of Bristol’s scene 
  • Iconic photographs of the 80s from Beezer 
  • A bespoke five-minute edit of the film Wild Style by Charlie Ahearn 
  • A bespoke seven-minute film by Scottish filmmaker Doug Gillen of Fifth Wall TV with an original score by drum and bass producer and DJ Krust 
  • Matthew Smith’s rare images of the 90s – the time of rave and the Criminal Justice Bill 
  • Carrie Hitchcock and Yan Saunders’ unseen photographic archive 
  • Legendary photographer Henry Chalfant’s unseen photographs of his time in Bristol for Spraycan Art 

Further details on the Vanguard book, album, outreach events and artist releases will be released shortly. 

Vanguard | Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement 

M Shed, Bristol, BS1 4RN 

Saturday 26 June 2021 – Sunday 31 October 2021 

Admission £8 adult* / £7 concession* (*Tickets include £1 voluntary donation to Bristol Museums 

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