St John’s Sculpture Park, Waterloo

A stone’s throw from the Southbank (well, if you outstandingly good at stonethrowing anyway) is St John’s church. It’s an elegant building, with a graceful spire.
West Front
In the surrounding garden yesterday evening, I saw a couple arrive and set out a picnic supper on the grass, enjoying the warm sunshine. I sat for a few minutes on a comfortable bench before heading home.
But when the sun goes down, the scene changes outside this beautiful church. Homeless people gather and vans arrive with volunteers serving food.
The church is also the headquarters of Southbank Mosaics, an outfit begun by ex-teacher David Tootill, dedicated to beautifying ugly areas, and the garden is full of examples of its work.
There are planters:



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Salamanca Street

A dingy section of street under a Victorian railway arch is not the most likely place to find mosaics, let alone mosaics of important buildings in Spanish town complete with graffiti.

La Casa de las Conchas

I’ve been to Salamanca several times. I even spent part of one summer not learning Spanish there. It is very beautiful, but the scenes of hell in the cathedral make you remember the zeal with which the Inquisition purged the populace. And why London ended up with a Spanish and Portuguese synagogue. There is a rather lovely and peaceful convent, but the name slips my memory. It’s been a long day. Continue reading