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The godfather of Bristol graffiti curates his first-ever show

Written by
Jon Cook

Bristol graffiti champions Upfest have announced that the first-ever curated exhibition by John Nation will take place in their Bedminster gallery  from April 28 to May 12.

John is a man whose passionate dedication to Bristol's world-renowned graffiti movement over the last 30 years has earned him the unofficial, but indisputably deserved, title as the 'godfather' of the city's street art scene and culture.

One of the art-form's key exponents in the UK during its early years in the 1980s, John worked at the now legendary Barton Hill youth centre, where he encouraged local teens to take up the then fledgling discipline of painting with spray cans that was then exploding out of NYC. 

These young lads would grow up to become some of street art's biggest and most respected talents - Jody, Inkie, Cheo and, of course, Banksy all honed their talents on the walls at Barton Hill.

These days, John leads street art tours for Where The Wall, giving curious locals and Banksy-tourists alike a proper education in the art of graffiti in the city. Of the exhibition, he says: 

"Bristol is a massive city for arts whether its art, music, theatre or street art. The main purpose of the show is to celebrate and appreciate all the diverse artists that came from Bristol who have helped make the graffiti and street art scene what it is today. This is a collection that highlights the artists who have produced some inspiring and genre pushing art over the years.”

To find out more about the full list of artists exhibiting during the two weeks of the show, head over to the Upfest website.

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