The Upside Gallery in Bournemouth is an unusual location for an art gallery. Six x ten metre tall concrete pillars, which support the elevated section of the A338 Wessex Way (the main road into Bournemouth), have become ‘canvases’ for some of the country’s best street artists. What used to be a rather gloomy area between Bournemouth’s Central and Upper Gardens has been transformed into an outdoor art gallery. Judging by the number of people who stopped to comment while I was taking photos, it is a very popular addition to the local landscape.
The Upside Gallery is only a 10 minute walk from Bournemouth town centre (or a 15 minute walk from the beach). It can be reached by following the path through the town’s award winning Gardens. (You can’t cycle through the Gardens, but there is a cycle path which runs along the west side).
The project was the brainchild of local artist agency Paintshop Studio, whose bold designs can be seen throughout the town – they’ve even been in action in the toilets on Bournemouth Pier!
If you want to know more about the works on display or the artists who created them, each pillar contains QR Codes which link to the relevant pages of the Upside Gallery website.
The Upside Gallery is open 24/7, although you will need to go during daylight hours to see the art properly.
There is no entrance fee.
Carpe Diem – Bonzai
Southampton artist Dave Bonzai has created this intricate shimmering metallic grafitti of the words Carpe Diem (Seize the Day). Is it just me for whom the phrase Carpe Diem conjures up images of Robin Williams and the Dead Poets Society?
Infinite History – Gary Stranger
Gary hails from further along the coast in Brighton and specialises in creating complex images combining typography with geometric shapes. Here, the word HISTORY has been written to form an infinite loop – deep!
No Name – Best Ever
Local duo Neil and Hadley, aka Best Ever, have produced this piece with no name which merges abstract with photorealism. Or is is named No Name? I don’t know, but I love it – look at the detail in those hands!
Fly on the Wall – Tech Moon
Tech Moon, another Bournemouth based artist (aka Krishna Malla), has created a stunning fly on the wall, on the wall. Who knew a fly could be so beautiful? Which of course, is the point – you can find beauty anywhere if you look for it. If you like Tech Moon’s work, there is plenty more of it in and around Bournemouth to enjoy.
Untitled – Odisy
I love this piece by Bournemouth artist Alex Odisy who’s gone full-on seaside with a pipe-smoking fisherman and bathing belle.
Lily & Roses – Philth
Taking his his inspiration from the surrounding gardens, Philth Blake has painted a pattern of roses and lilies reminiscent of William Morris wallpaper.
Monolith B – Remi Rough
Londoner Remi has gone abstract with his Monolith B, which makes me wonder, what happened to Monolith A?
On the Shoulders of Giants – Ricky Also
Ricky, Creative Director of the aforementioned Paintshop Studio, has chosen the phrase ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ for this project of gigantic proportions.
Bottled Oxygen – Squirl
Squirl’s work is apparently an abstraction of the surroundings of the Upside Gallery.
Islands – Tea One
Tea One came all the way from Preston to create his island scene with a boat which sits on an abstract island on the bank of the River Bourne, which runs past the base of the pillar.
Deep Deco Forest – Will Barras
I love this piece by Bristolian Wil Barras. I’ve no idea what’s going on, but I love it anyway!
Upside Gallery for Children
The gallery probably won’t be of much interest for children, but there are plenty of other child friendly activities in the Gardens. Check out my blog here.
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