Burnt Mysterious Sculpture at Turbo Island Bonfire
A sculpture of a man carrying a Monopoly board and a dog that had been erected by the mysterious Bristol Guerrilla Sculptor has been dragged down the road and burned at this weekend’s Turbo Island bonfire.
The street artist known only as ‘Getting Up To Stuff’ erected the sculpture on the first Monday in April at the People’s Republic headquarters in Stokes Croft on Jamaica Street, but it took less than a week. The guerrilla artist shared the fate of the sculpture, the latest in a long line of mysterious sculptures that appeared in the city, on his Instagram account on Sunday.
Under the caption “Some you win, some you lose”, the photo showed the sculpture in pieces on the bonfire which is regularly lit on Turbo Island, the legendary triangular space on the corner of Stokes Croft and Jamaica Street. Whoever was in charge had removed the cement statue from its position above the PRSC blanket shop and dragged it along Jamaica Street to put it on the weekend bonfire.
Read more: A new sculpture off Stokes Croft shows a man carrying a Monopoly board
The work was at least the artist’s fourth sculpture to be installed in public places in Bristol in recent years. Previously there was a sculpture of an old woman with a hammer on Victoria Street, a person comforted by a teddy bear for World Suicide Prevention Day on Jacob’s Wells Road, and a ‘loo lady’ statue Victoria Hughes at her toilet on the Des Stockings.
Also posting images of the sculpture on Instagram today, the artist wrote, “Monopoly: the game you win when everything is out of reach.” People raved about the “awesome” room in the comments, with many saying the location was appropriate.
In its own commentary, the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC) added: “What a thing to come to this morning! It goes so well with the opening of the People’s Art Fair on Thursday too.” The fair is part of its Stokes Croft Land Trust campaign to purchase properties to hold for community and cultural use in the future.
The statues in more detail
The sculpture of Victoria Hughes, who was a toilet worker for 33 years at Durdham Downs in Bristol and cared for sex workers in the area, was actually Bristol’s first statue of a woman who was not the Queen Victoria. She appeared last August near the blue plaque that bears her name.
In April 2018, a 10ft statue of an old lady with a hammer was erected overnight and chained to two bike racks, just outside the Victoria Street offices of Age UK Bristol. “OAP” was scrawled across the front of the statue, along with the name “Ruth” on the back. The artist revealed, in September 2021, on Instagram that Ruth had been adopted by Age UK “as a symbol of the resilience, strength and courage shown by so many in their later years”.
And in September 2020, another gray sculpture of a man being comforted by a teddy bear (later revealed to be called “Bear With Me”) was installed overnight in time for World Suicide Prevention Day. . It can still be seen on Jacob’s Wells Road.
It looks like Getting up to Stuff has been making progress on the latest sculpt since at least February of this year because, on the 12th of the month, the account shared a close-up video of some of the man’s (and dog’s) features. When a fan asked what material they were made of, the artist replied, “They’re made of dreams and magic – and cement.”
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