(click image for more pictures)
June 9th was a free day for us to go out and explore. I didn’t really set any goals or expectations for the trip - if anything my goal was to explore spontaneously and let the wonder find me. After breakfast, fellow traveler Tyler mentioned that he was going to one of the radest skateparks around London. After watching him observe the park on the internet I realized I had to go because of the awesome art! (He helped convince me as well) I was all for this idea because this also meant that I could get an authentic taste for some “alternative” culture in London.
As we approached Southbank we were greeted with a mural by Roa. I was able to recognize his work due to the murals that he did in RVA. We walked a few feet around where this mural was and BOOM! we encountered tons of people, kids on bikes, kids on boards, hip hop DJs, and volunteers with clipboards. We walked into an event that we had no idea was going on. We learned that Southbank was actually under the threat of being taken away. The story was that they wanted to get rid of the skatepark and replace it with a Starbucks (common, right?) We were welcomed with open arms and able to explore the area just as if we owned it like everyone else. Tyler got to skate around freely for almost 2 hours and I got to observe the art at my own leisure (without getting too in the way of course).
Also note the large portraits. These images are part of the Inside Out Project. Check this out for more information.
I hope Southbank stays alive.