The Visual Backdrop

For 40 years, the Undercroft on Southbank in London has been home to Skateboarders. It’s an iconic site where physical skill meets street art.

IMG_5513_wpRecently this site has been under significant threat due to a £120 million redevelopment scheme for areas of the Southbank Centre, which would have seen the Undercroft replaced by Restaurants and Shops and the skateboarders re-located to a purpose-built park. But the plans have now been withdrawn and skateboarding will live on here – at least in the short-term.

The park is often quiet during the working week, and it was deathly quiet when I visited. There’s not an inch of wall that hasn’t been painted and re-painted countless times over the years. And I would bet that some of the images you see here, taken only last month, will already have been covered over with new art.

Click any image in the gallery below and navigate through. Any image will enlarge if clicked on.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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15 Responses to The Visual Backdrop

  1. oneowner says:

    There is some interesting graffiti and poster art depicted here. Arguably it’s better than looking at a building not cared for or is falling apart. And it makes for good photos, too.

  2. Len says:

    There are some amazing colors in this graffiti Andy. Reminds me of the Graffiti Underground in Philadelphia

  3. Just love the bright colors, Andy. This is a subject I have only made a few images of. It has become such a part of urban culture that I really should not ignore it any longer.

  4. John says:

    Am often quite impressed with the technical quality of some if the artwork done as graffiti. There is some quality here.

  5. Jim Nix says:

    I love shooting along SouthBank and that reminds me that I have quite a few pics from this place, but of course the graffiti is different every time I go! nice work Andy!

    • LensScaper says:

      Hi Jim. Thanks for commenting. Yes, the Graffiti changes every week almost. There are a couple of major new exhibits too. One high up on the wall of the QE hall by Roa (see my Post https://lensscaper.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/squirrels/ ) and the other not visible from the River walkway, but if you head behind the QE Hall you will find an extraordinary fresco by an artist called Phlegm. I must post some images of it sometime soon.

  6. My favorite is the “poster” of the guy with his tongue out. Some of these are really cool.

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