In Bristol, art doesn’t just come on canvases. On the national street art scene, Bristol’s history in street art is incomparable, and it is one of the biggest and most inspirational creative hubs in the UK.
One of the new players on the Bristol street art scene is Pangea – James, a graphic designer for Smith and Milton, and Chantel, a print designer for popular high street brands, such as ASOS and River Island. The duo met at Bristol UWE, graduating last year, and have since been painting murals around the country, covering walls with their unique patterns, inspired by ancient mark-making and different forms of calligraphy.
“We started this when we were at university together; there is so much street art in Bristol, it’s hard not to want to get involved!” – James
If you mention art, people immediately visualise silent galleries where a double-barrelled surname is required for entry – but with the emergence of street art, it would not be unusual to walk down a street and see a striking wall mural.
This is what Pangea are about – bringing the art galleries to the streets, and making the arts accessible to all.
“I believe art should be experienced by as many people as possible, and I’ll feel guilty owning work that is stored away in boxes where no one can see it” – Chantel
With a near-obsessive interest in typography, calligraphy, and ways of abstracting them into patterns, Pangea have been developing their own language – one that is universal, challenging and embracing the full spectrum of what art can be, interpreting by anyone in their own way, and read however they want.
Pangea is a street collective, but their work has graced the walls of several exhibitions around the country, receiving brilliant feedback. Now, the duo’s ambitions are expanding to the streets of South America, where they hope to gain a deeper understanding of the culture from which their original calligraphy and patterns stem.
Through this work, Pangea want to bring colour to communities, building relationships through the universal language of street art, and intend to achieve this by learning what ‘community’ means to locals across South America. The varying answers they receive will then be incorporated into murals in each local area, interweaved with a jumble of different patterns and graffiti, giving each neighbourhood its own visual identity and commonality.
However, Pangea can’t do this alone, and need support in achieving this goal – they have recently launched their KickStarter page, and can’t wait to bring this project to life.
Words by Navz Sangwan