A new sculpture has been spotted in Bristol today (Tuesday, April 5) depicting a man holding a Monopoly set alongside his dog. The statue has appeared on Jamaica Street just off of Stokes Croft, around the corner from Turbo Island.
The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft posted an image of the sculpture to its Instagram page this afternoon, writing: “Look what appeared here last night! A new sculpture from @gettinguptostuff which seems to suit this spot perfectly, addressing homelessness in the face of property being used as investments, out of reach for a growing section of society.”
Bristol poet Lawrence Hoo, whose CARGO Loft classroom project is based next to the sculpture, spotted it at about 7am this morning. The work has been claimed by guerrilla artist Getting Up To Stuff, who has a track record of making and installing sculptures out of the blue.
It is thought to be at least the fourth sculpture from the artist to be installed in public places in Bristol in the past few years. Previously there has been a sculpture of an old woman with a hammer on Victoria Street, a person being comforted by a teddy bear for World Suicide Prevention Day on Jacob’s Wells Road, and a statue of ‘loo lady’ Victoria Hughes at her toilets on the Downs.
Also posting footage of the sculpture on Instagram today, the artist wrote: “Monopoly: the game you win when everything is unaffordable.” People commended the “superb” piece in the comments, with many saying the location was fitting.
In its own comment, People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC) added: “What a thing to come in to this morning! Fits so well with the People’s Art Fair opening Thursday too.” The fair is part of its Stokes Croft Land Trust campaign to buy properties to retain them for community and cultural use into the future.
The statues in more detail
The sculpture of Victoria Hughes, who was a toilet attendant for 33 years on Durdham Downs in Bristol and looked after sex workers in the area, was actually Bristol’s first statue of a woman who was not Queen Victoria. It appeared in August last year close to the blue plaque that bears her name.
Back in April 2018, a 10-foot statue of an old lady with a hammer was put up overnight and chained to two bike racks, just outside of the Victoria Street offices of Age UK Bristol. ‘OAP’ was scrawled onto the front of the statue, along with the name ‘Ruth’ on the back. The artist revealed, in September 2021, on Instagram that Ruth was adopted by Age UK “as a symbol of the resilience, strength and courage that so many demonstrate in their later years”.
And in September 2020, another grey 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 seems that Getting up to Stuff has been making progress on the latest sculpture since at least February this year as, on the twelfth 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.”