The inspiration behind our street Jerseys

You may not know the name but you’ve certainly seen the work he helped inspire. Each piece of street art in the south west an unknowing a homage to John Nation.

Ever wondered why Bristol is such a bastion of street art? Well you’ve the unassuming John Nation and his “Aerosol Art Project” back in 1984 to thank.

As an outreach worker in Barton Hill John says “We helped kids deal with the nitty gritty of life [...] providing sexual health awareness, talking about drugs, that kind of thing,”.

But a trip to Amsterdam kicked off his interest in graffiti and thanks to the book “Subway art” some of the teenagers John was mixing with shared his new found passion. Initially allowing them to paint the clubs front wall to cover grim slogans promoting the far-right movement, the National Front and anti police daubing.

Inspired, Nation set up the groundbreaking project as a safe space for this new artistic expression. The now internationally famous Cheo, Inkie (who has since worked as a head of design at SEGA) and of course 3D (a.k.a. Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack) were among the first to help cover the youth building as budding artists.

Inspiring other councils to launch similar spaces and with more than 40 youngsters attending at its peak including a pre stencilling Banksy, but by 1991 John had decided to move on, his impact a Bristolian legacy.

“Without this centre and John’s support of our artwork, Bristol would not have had the scene it maintains today,” Inkie

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