Surf’s Up at Glasgow’s Bristol Bar

3 August, 2017

Bristol Bar Beach Party. 

The Bristol Bar in the east end of Glasgow has become one of my regular clients. In 2013 I themed their main bar with an excited Ibrox football crowd mural and I reappear annually to paint more portraits into the picture. Click here to see photos of the Ibrox mural. 

The Bristol Bar owners essentially gave me a large blue canvas box to paint in .

The Bristol Bar is a real party hotspot; they take fun very seriously. In July of 2017 they decided to hold a beach party using a redundant space at the back of the bar which was in need of a face lift. When I arrived owners Greg and Harry had created a sky-blue plywood-clad room as a gigantic canvas for me; the entire space was roughly 9 metres square and 3.6 metres tall. 

Good Vibrations in Glasgow’s East End

Overview of the mural in progress.
Detail showing the mixture of acrylic brush painting, freehand spray and stencil work used to build the mural.

 

 

 

The plan was to paint it in three days…. it turned out to be three very long days!   

The octopus features a dome with Rangers colours and utilises the existing wall light as one of its eyes. 
Surfing hammerhead shark and a great white with the board from an unfortunate Celtic fan.
Classic seaside cut out boards ready for the party.

Over the course of the project I painted a variety of scenes including a monster crab eating an ice cream cone, a parrot stood in front of a Bristol Bar-themed beach hut and a large octopus with a Rangers coloured dome, using the existing wall light as one of the eyes. I also created two cutout boards themed around voluptuous mermaids with holes for customers to poke their heads through. I also painted two large surfing sharks, a hammerhead and a great white. The bar wanted a comical nod to the Rangers rivalry with Celtic so I took a bite sized chunk out of the great white’s board and hung a rogue foot with a Celtic tattoo from the tether, as though the shark had stolen the board from a fan. 

The giant octopus incorporated an existing wall light as one of its eyes.
12 tonnes of sand was added to the room to create a more beachy environment.  
Bristol Bar beach partiers enjoying the brand new space, including the sandy floor! Photo courtesy the Bristol Bar.

The day after I left, 12 tonnes of sand were brought to the bar and installed in the space, followed by the installation of some fake palm trees and as a special treat they added a surf machine. 

Vying for a trip to Thailand on the surf board machine. Photo courtesy the Bristol Bar.

This was then used for a surf competition with the longest rider winning a holiday to Thailand. 

Partiers making good use of the cut outs. Photo courtesy the Bristol Bar.
Bristol Bar staff and friends joining in the sandy fun. Photo courtesy the Bristol Bar.

Plans are afoot to hold more beach parties as the year unfolds and really use the space to its best advantage. We may re-theme the room around different concepts in the future. 

Judging from their Facebook photos, the Bristol Bar really knows how to throw a party! 

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