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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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