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HEAD LINE: Mum Leah was "nervous and stressed', son Harry was 'excited and chilled' as they arrived in Zone One in Greville Smyth Park for the start of the mega paintathon. The finished work which took 20 hours to complete over the long weekend is called What’s In My Head. At the end Harry was exhausted. Leah added: "It was hard work keeping him on task and focused especially as his school friends kept coming to see him and both his teachers from Nailsea School." Leah took all the brilliant photos. The first slideshow is all about Harry and the second is other artists and Upfest visitors

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Wonder boy street artist from Nailsea

Following in the famous brushstrokes of Bristol street artist Banksy is a 10-year-old boy from Nailsea.

Harry tag name 'Haz' Bingham is the youngest ever person to be invited to be an official artist in the renown Upfest in Bedminster.

This is an annual celebration of everything street which was first launched in 2008 but was forced to go virtual in 2020 and stalled again in 2021 because of Covid.

Now Upfest is back big time with Grove Junior School pupil Harry among the 400 plus artists taking part.

Football and rugby-mad Harry turned his creative passion to drawing when he found his legs got too tired for sport and he needed to channel his energy elsewhere.

Mum Leah set up his Instagram account #hazart where Harry found and followed fellow street artists who in turn followed him back.

Harry is a big fan of international street artist My Dog Sighs and Paul ‘Monsters’ Roberts.

My Dog Sighs style is a combination of melancholic and naive portraiture and he uses discarded rubbish like food cans!

Paul is a multi-disciplinary artist working with tessellating geometric patterns. constructing abstract shapes inspired by nature, architecture and spirituality.

Leah said: “He’s always been fascinated with Bristol street art and started experimenting with his own.

“He’s a regular in the Upfest Gallery in North Street so everyone got to know him.

“He went to a book signing and talk by My Dog Sighs - I was completely out of my comfort zone.

“That really inspired him and gave him ideas of how to do it legally - he is not the next Brik.

“I applied online and they looked at his Instagram and got accepted.”

The more experienced artists have shared with Harry the legalities of public street art and how to inspire and not deface unlike some of the poor examples found in Nailsea recently.

Leah added: “I really didn’t expect him to get in, so I was shocked, he’s very excited and chilled about the whole thing.”

Harry told the festival organisers: “Art is my favourite subject at school and I’ve always loved walking through the city with family looking at the cool street art.

“I started my own street art style when I was aged nine during lockdown.

“I enjoy drawing in sketch books at home and often create boards using POSCA pens.

“I have also been to art classes where I learned to make and use stencils and I am getting better at using cans but must practise this in the garden.”

The Year 5 pupil isn’t the only talented artist in his family as big sister Grace, aged 14, and granddad Steve also love to draw. 

The free festival is on Saturday and Sunday, May 28- 29.

Murals started emerging in the streets of Bedminster from the start of this month and after three weeks of street painting, the festival weekend will see hundreds of artists painting live with festival hubs at Tobacco Factory and Ashton Gate Stadium.

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Photos: Top Haz art and below Hazwith his
idol My Dog Sighs street art © Leah Bingham
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For the first year the festival will take over Greville Smyth Park which is on Ashton Gate Road postcode BS3 2EQ as its main venue with music and live painting across the weekend.

Harry will be painting in the Greville Smyth Park over two days alongside the music stages and food and drink experiences on the festival weekend on a 1mX1m canvass.

More information here whichttps://www.upfest.co.uk/

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Haz is back at Upfest

Nailsea School student Harry ‘Haz’ Bingham, aged 12, is back for the second time to showcase his street art at Upfest the Bristol based festival.

The online blurb says: “Haz is an artist from Nailsea. Being only 12 he is still experimenting with different styles and media, taking his inspiration from the Bristol artwork he sees around the city. He has attended several workshops run by the more experienced artists and takes any opportunities presented to him to extend his artistic talent. This will be his second time participating in Upfest and is delighted to be given this opportunity to paint alongside some of his idols.”

For 2024 the festival is more than a long weekend in the park.

It began on Friday, May 17, and runs until Sunday, June 2, with a 17-day cultural programme at pop-ups at multiple venues across BS3 with free to attend workshops, live painting, artist talks, arts activities, panel discussions, and Street Art Tours.

Haz has his big day on Saturday, May 25, when he will be painting on a board at the Tobacco Factory.

Upfest was founded in 2008, It was originally conceived to get a group of 20 like-minded artists together for a day of painting here in Bristol, however the first festival quickly grew to 50 artists once the word was out, after securing a fantastic Bristol venue, the Tobacco Factory, the first Upfest took place.Since then the festival has grown year on year with artists travelling from around the world to paint the walls across Bedminster.

With over 400 artists now painting each year in front of 50,000 visitors, the festival has moved to a two-week painting event culminating in the festival weekend taking place at Greville Smyth Park and the original venue the Tobacco Factory.

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Harry 'Haz' Bingham, street artist aged 12

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Outside of the festival, Upfest has a permanent HQ and gallery space in South Bristol. project managing both public and private art installations, providing live artwork for events and festivals alongside place making activities.