‘A Sanctuary for Skateboarders, an important piece of London’s history’ Tony Hawk ‘A big part of London’s wonderful cultural heritage’ Ben Bradshaw MP ‘One of the most important skate spots in the world’ Chewy Cannon, Long Live Southbank ‘a very significant place for the local and global skateboarding community.’ Duncan Wilson OBE, Chief Executive Historic England ‘Southbank: It’s a safe place!’ Mark ‘Gonz’ Gonzales
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Long Live Southbank (LLSB) announce the launch of ‘426㎡: The Southbank Show’, a major group art show featuring the talent of skateboarders and creatives from around the world, aiming to raise funds to restore London’s iconic skate spot. Hosted at StolenSpace Gallery in London’s East End and running from the 18th till the 29th of April 2018, the collection of over 70 pieces of work is set to be one of the most quintessential skateboarding art shows to date.
It’s not often an art show so inextricably linked to place. 34 artists who have a connection to Southbank skate spot on London’s River Thames have contributed their works to a definitive show which will display an eclectic range of mediums from the creative pool of skateboarding from across the globe.
‘426㎡’ refers to lost sections of Southbank long since hidden away from its skateboarding roots. Since approaching Southbank Centre in 2015, Long Live Southbank have created a unique opportunity to breath new life into the hallowed ground of London’s ‘skateboarding mecca’.
The show title also references the ‘high art meets popular culture’ television programme series ‘The South Bank Show’, presented by Melvyn Bragg. Although the skate space on the South Bank has been an ever present feature in the local landscape for decades, its natural creative and artistic flair has been overlooked by the shows producers.
The premise behind ‘426㎡: The Southbank Show’ is to expose this juxtaposition of the arts and display work by creatives who are directly part of the counterculture; not by those professing to do so. Long Live Southbank have fused the two middle words to create ‘The Southbank Show’ in a move to delete the imposed art divide created by the art elite and as a reference to the notion of art having to be either classical or outsider or high-end or low-end.
‘426㎡: The Southbank Show’ runs for two weeks from the 18th April at StolenSpace Gallery, 17 Osborn Street, London E1 6TD.
Southbank Minute: Episode 11 – ‘Subvert’ from Tim Leighton-Boyce featuring… Geoff Rowley.
Tim’s story: “My favourite Southbank moment was the Powell tour in 1988: Dobie borrowing my camera for a moment and getting the best shot of the day. Typical!
Southbank means a lot to me. I used to hang around there taking pictures before skateboarding. Then in around 1975 or 76 I took my first skate pictures there of friends, although I really learnt to take skate pictures a bit later at Harrow and Rolling Thunder.
Going to South Bank was the best way of keeping in touch with skaters during the dark ages. I can’t remember which was the main night when most people would be there. But in the days before mobile phones it served as a communication hub as well as a skate spot. It was the heart of London skating.
I want the tradition of Southbank to survive unbroken. Evolution is fine – all the concrete additions came after my time – but I hope some of the original features survive. So many have already gone. I am amazed by what LLSB have achieved. I do not believe it would have happened 20 years ago. I don’t intend this as criticism of the people involved back then – many things were different then. I’m just acknowledging my admiration for what the current generation have done”.
Filmed by Tim Leighton-Boyce.
Edited by Winstan Whitter.
Animated Titles by Trav Wardle.
‘You Can’t Move History’ was produced as a creative collaboration between four scholars from the universities of Sussex, East Anglia, Glasgow and Newcastle, BrazenBunch arts collective, LLSB, and filmmaker and skater Winstan Whitter (Rollin’ Through the Decades). Through the film – and the filmmaking process –the team sought to communicate the Undercroft community’s individual and collective attachments to the space, and the strategies LLSB used to translate and communicate the attachment to heritage. In working with three generations of Southbank skaters, the film remains true to the aesthetics and ethics of the Undercroft community.
You Can’t Move History won the Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘Best Research Film of the Year’ 2016:
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