South Bank London Summer 2013: Festival of the Neighbourhood

Those lovely people at the South bank have done it again. Today the new festival kicked off: The Festival of the Neighbourhood, celebrating local communities.
I took these pictures on Thursday evening with my ‘phone while the installations were being put up. I shall be back with my proper camera.

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A Blob and Its Interior on the South Bank.

These structures have been here all summer, but I have not been that keen on them, which might explain why there are no photos of them from earlier this year. Now however, They have been pained white and look like igllos. i like them slightly better. Not enough to take a good picture though apparently.



I’d be lying if I said the blue skies didn’t help. Continue reading

December at the South Bank

After all my posts about the South Bank in the summer, you might have thought of it as a place I only visit from May to September. But I’ll be there tomorrow morning, I was there last night, and on Sunday afternoon.
The book sellers are there all year round. This one, at a guess, is a Private Eye fan. Coincidentally, I saw ian Hislop at the National last night. It turned out there had just been a book launch for a new volume from Eye.



The winter festival is fun, but a bit busy for my taste. My friend and I took the stairs to the upper level so we could enjoy it from a distance.
Winter Festival

Winter Festival

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October on the South Bank

Two of my friends have written novels and now in the throes of editing. I met one of them yesterday. She was high after attending a reading by Janice Galloway at Kings Place. We met at the South Bank in the National Theatre, but it was too nice to be inside, so we followed this invitation to the rooftop garden of the QEH.

The Only Way is Up

Unfortunately for us, lots of other people had had the same idea and the seats were all taken. We stood, we admired. I photographed. We wandered, we wondered.

Ceramic Flowers


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Art Changing Lives

I listened to Ken Robinson and others talking this afternoon. Thanks to BBC iplayer I was able to hear a Radio 4 programme that had gone out this morning, In His Element. It was about his role in helping to develop Derry City (stroke city as it is often called, not because of the high incidence of cerebral haemorrhages, but because depending one which side of the political divide you stand it is Derry or Londonderry.
If you’ve not heard of Ken Robinson before, I should tell you he is an educator, an inspiring speaker, ex Professor of Education at Warwick and Ted Wragg’s natural successor. If you’ve not heard of Ted Wragg, you have some wonderful catching up to do. He was a splendid man; warm, witty, fantastically intelligent. When he died several years ago, I cried and felt I had lost a friend.
But I didn’t mean to talk about death. I meant to talk about creativity and where it lies in our lives.
Ken Robinson definitely believes in the power of creativity. There’s a very famous TED talk by him, that I urge you all to listen to. Go on, it’ll improve your lives. I’ll put a link at the end of this, or even insert the video. See how I spoil you. He’s not talking about sticking sequins on a piece of card, which is al too often how creativity seems to be defined these days. It has a far wider scope. A scope that the good people of Derry and the South Bank both understand.
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Art Changing Lives

At the South Bank you can see art improving people’s lives. It is accessible, thought-provoking, fun. All around people are smiling. Whether because they are being given opportunities to learn something new:

Learning to Juggle

And don’t you just love a man who carries a toy rabbit around in his pocket? Continue reading

Raining Poetry South Bank

You know those moments when you just know you are where you are meant to be, doing what you are meant to be doing and everything slots into place and you have a feeling of perfect happiness?
Me too. Last night. South Bank.
I was late and I could hear the helicopter while I was still on Westminster Bridge. I am not supposed to run with my bad knee. But if you don’t tell the consultant, I shan’t either. And actually it feels ok today.
I reached the area in front of the Eye. Lots of people were milling about. Many of them ignorant of what suddenly happened. Poems were raining down on us to mark the opening of the Parnassus Poetry Festival. People were diving, leaping, running, competing for these bookmark-like pieces of cardboard. Then walking with them held in their hands. Watching the sky for the next drop.

Hold Onto Your Poem

When Pinochet was deposed and freedom of speech restored in Chile they bombed the capital with the poems they had not been allowed to say. It was a Chilean organisation that organised last night’s rain too. So every poem was in English and Spanish.
I had my point and squirt with me, but that’s no excuse for these poor pictures. Rather that I was too busy doing other things.
I didn’t give an impromptu performance of the poems that I gathered as this American student did. Continue reading

Green Sieves and Red Geraniums

Still at the South Bank, these towers made of green plastic sieves surround the pillars of the Queen Elizabeth Hall.I don’t remember the name of the artist, or his country (shame on me) but I do remember that he said in his country these sieves are ubiquitous.

So three views:

Green Sieves from the Walkway

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