The Litter Faerie was the first to appear. With wings like ragged bin bags, trapped on the spindly branches of a tree, ripped into lace.
What started as an idea one lonely afternoon in London, has grown and travelled across the country with me. The Graffiti Faerie really helped to make the series a reality. Living in London for so long and missing the countryside and hills of home, I tried to look for a little magic in the urban setting. Just like the flower faeries of Mary Cecily Barker, I imagined the faeries as being of their environment, of concrete and diesel instead of holly and hawthorn.
Moving back west to Wales and researching the Graffiti Faerie, I stumbled upon the street art scene of Bristol. The more I researched, the more fascinated I’ve become with these secretive and talented artists. They flit quietly around the city at dusk without fanfare or ceremony, leaving art in their wake. They are the real urban faeries. Wherever they go, these hidden artists leave behind them a little magic.
This lead me to include graffiti and street art in each painting, linking the real and the magical. It also led to me setting each painting within the city of Bristol – a bridge between the overwhelmingly urban landscape of London that I was leaving, and the magical destination of my home country of Wales. The paintings all have a slight decay about them, reflecting the decay of my relationship with London and move to the west. Bristol is a great blend of urban and rural in places, my halfway house.
I hope that my paintings help you to see the magic and beauty in the everyday, and look at your local urban landscape with different eyes.
The five Urban Faeries are all painted on 20″ by 30″ stretched canvas, using a very limited palette of white and just four colours – Cobalt Blue, Fluorescent Pink, Cadmium Yellow Light and Burnt Umber.
Inspired by real locations in Bristol, the High Rise Faerie sits perched on the Cabot Tower surveying Bristol below. Our Neon Faerie sits guardian-like in a doorway of Leonard Lane, while the reckless Diesel Faerie nonchalantly smokes in an actual abandoned petrol station with the back of Bristol Temple Meads behind him. Our quietly hopeful Litter Faerie sits in ‘There and Back Again Lane’ (no, I didn’t make that up either) and the Graffiti Faerie looks at us defiantly as she adds to the spectacular art of Moon Street in the creative and street art hub of Stokes Croft.