Southbank graffiti, London – April 2009
Looking at this picture, you may think that I tool a wrong turn last week and wandered off into some ghetto of London, risking life and limb for a Saturday Snapshot… Never fear! This colourful splash of graffiti is actually right in the heart of London, in the undercroft of the Southbank Centre, just metres from the tourists and the Thames. The building above houses cinemas, performing arts venues and concert halls where people pay lots of money to see dancers displaying their skill and art. Here in the undercroft, people can watch skateboarders displaying their skill and art for free – and they do. The skateboarding and colourful graffiti attract crowds of visitors, gawpers and photographers every day.
There were fears a couple of years ago when plans were unveiled to send the undercroft the way of so much of London's public spaces. The proposal was to take a free public space, used by hundreds of people each day, and turn it into a privately-owned space by converting it into shops and restaurants. But such was the outcry (and, rumour has it, the support for skateboarding in Parliament!) that this plan has now been shelved and it seems that the future of the home of British skateboarding has been secured – for the time being. For more information on this fascinating space, I'd strongly encourage you to watch this excellent short film about the undercroft's significance as a public space.
This is part of a series of non-food photographs that will be published every Saturday on CookSister. Click here for a full list of photographs previously featured. If you like this or any other photo featured in Saturday Snapshots, why not buy it as a greeting card or print in my RedBubble store?