County Ground is transformed
Gloucestershire Cricket have put the finishing touches to a major revamp of the Bristol County Ground.
Featuring bespoke street art designs and installations, new signage and painting works, the home of Gloucestershire Cricket was transformed in time for the England Women’s Ashes T20 match and the club’s five Bristol Vitality Blast T20 fixtures in August.
Spectators passing through the Grace Gates at the Nevil Road entrance to the ground can view the creations of Silent Hobo, the street artist who has worked with the club to bring images of cricket and the city of Bristol to life on six of its large walls. In addition, a giant yellow cricket ball, featuring the club crest, is depicted bursting out of the main entrance wall to provide a 3D element to these artworks.
Silent Hobo has been commissioned to create many artworks all over the UK and Europe for clients such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, Google, Facebook and the National Trust. Recently he has collaborated with Bristol Food Connections to create a two-storey mural on what makes Bristol food unique, and he has been a long-time collaborator to transform the look and feel of Montpelier train station.
The extensive project was born out of the desire to better reflect the club’s brand and colours – yellow and black – around the ground and be in keeping with its city and community.
Will Brown, chief executive of Gloucestershire Cricket, explained why the club commissioned numerous street art works: “It’s important to us at Gloucestershire Cricket to reflect our place in the city and community; Bristol is one of the most internationally renowned street art cities and the Gloucester Road area itself is a haven of colourful street art, reflecting its creative neighbourhood.
“Street art is something that has helped establish Bristol as an international visitor destination and we have worked closely with the team at Visit Bristol to ensure consistency in approach in marketing the city – that’s why you can see Bristol’s main attractions and icons reflected on these walls. It is a way to recognise the city’s and club’s heritage in a fresh, contemporary way.
“The designs used on our walls – which celebrate our city and that cricket is a game for all ages, genders and races – is something that will help to bring our ground to life, help to attract a new audience to the game and our venue, and ensure that the Bristol County Ground is more easily identifiable to visitors and spectators, be they in the venue or watching on television.”
The street art designs have reimagined scenes from cricket’s past – including a giant depiction of the legendary Gloucestershire cricketer WG Grace – and place male and female cricketers, young and old, in a contemporary setting within Bristol landmarks. Concorde even makes an appearance, trailing a message for the social media generation: #GoGlos.
The recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup also used street art in its marketing of Bristol to the world – the ‘Giant Cricketer’ – painted by residents of and visitors to Bristol and displayed during the tournament in Millennium Square in the city centre, has been re-housed at the Bristol County Ground. The four metre sculpture has proved popular with the children of Brunel Field Primary School, who pass by the cricketer on their daily school run.