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On Bristol, and Inkie

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On Bristol, and Inkie

You can't talk about the graffiti and street art scene in Bristol without talking about Inkie, whose name was first made when he was fingered as the leader of a group of graffiti writers in what was at the time the UK's biggest graffiti bust, "Operation Anderson." On March 20th, 1989, the homes of 72 suspected graffiti writers were raided in Bristol, Bath, Exeter and Cardiff. Blackbooks, photos and paints were confiscated and many wound up in the clink and paying stiff fines.

Fast forward ten plus years and Inkie is at it again, but this time he's on the right side of the law and his actions are, ironically, sanctioned by the very people who painted a target on his back a decade earlier! In August of 2011, Inkie shepherds the Bristol See No Evil festival to success. He invited 72 artists (tee hee) to participate and had the backing, to the tune of £40,000 (!), of the Bristol City Council. Artists from all over participated, including Tats Cru, El Mac, Aryz and Nick Walker. Some artists got to paint the police station and magistrates' courts through which they'd been processed years earlier (double tee hee).

See No Evil returned in 2012, bearing the stamp of approval of the Cultural Olympiad, and featured walls by M-CITY, Stik and Conor Harrington. The festival did not return for another year, but most of the walls from 2012, and some from 2011, remain intact in Bristol. Inkie, of course, continues to make art.