Bristol's See No Evil street art festival

Last summer, one of Bristol's best loved street artists Inkie managed to secure a festival in the beating heart of the city that can be legitimately described as the global centre of street art.

After years of campaigning, Inkie finally got his wish and one of the ugliest streets in Banksy's hometown of Bristol was to be transformed into an open art gallery.

Brightening up

Since its construction in the 1960s, Nelson Street was renowned for its depressingly grey appearance; sheltered by high rise buildings and concrete, the place needed more than a little brightening up.

Last year's festival certainly achieved that, and this summer the See No Evil event, which has the support of the Arts Council, London 2012 Festival, and Bristol City Council, has been even bigger and better.

See No Evil: Nychos and the Flying Fortress

Nychos and the Flying Fortress brings a splash of colour to Bristol's city centre

Urban artists including the likes of M-City, Pixel Pancho, Nychos, Mark Lyken, and Mark Bode, travelled from LA, Paris, Poland, Austria and across the UK for the festival.

They worked day and night from the 13th August to complete their individual pieces on buildings.

Pixel Pancho brightens up one of Nelson Street's drab buildings

Pixel Pancho brightens up one of Nelson Street's drab buildings

While the majority of artwork from the 2011 festival has been removed to make space for the new designs, three original pieces have been selected to stay by public vote: Nick Walker's suited man pouring a tin of red paint down the wall, El Mac's woman and child, and Aryz's five-story high wolf boy.

Block party

The event was officially launched on Saturday with the See No Evil Block Party, which saw more than 50,000 people descend upon Nelson Street to catch a glimpse of permanent street art created by 40 leading global street artists.

See No Evil: Mark Lyken

Mark Lyken gets busy with an explosion of paint

As well as live art and stunning graffiti, spectators of all ages were also treated to live music and DJ sets from six stages, graffiti workshops, food stalls, breakdancing, face painting, and pop-up galleries, that went on until late into the evening.

Ben Merrington hard at work

Ben Merrington hard at work

The event confirms Bristol as a global centre of urban art, following in the wake of a Banksy exhibition in 2009 at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery which attracted more than 300,000 visitors to the city.

Nelson Street will remain Europe's largest open air street art gallery until next summer when See No Evil will hopefully return once more.

WATCH THIS! Time lapse video of street artist Stik:

A video shot by James Symonds over 2 nights at See No Evil 2012. Prolific graffiti artist Stik created his biggest works to date on Unite's huge multi-storey Nelson House on Nelson Street, Bristol.

For more information, visit the official See No Evil website. You can also download the See No Evil App where you can hear the stories and inspiration behind the incredible street art at See No Evil 2012.

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Have you visited Nelson Street? What do you think of the artwork? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below!

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