London, England- Jessica
Local Tourist: Southbank
When, Where & Why
South Bank, London // December 2017 // Long live South Bank
A bracing winter walk eastward along the Thames is one of my most loved things to do in London. No matter the season or the weather, to an extent, since I moved to London nearly eight years ago, strolling along South Bank has always been a firm favourite because every time it feels different and new.
Today I took in coffee aromas, enjoyed the graft of independent jewellers and embraced a spectrum of art along the way from street to watercolour to neon and beyond.
South Bank Skate Park
A stalwart of the skateboarding scene that nearly lost its home, South Bank Skatepark is a hopeful spot covered in street art residing amidst some of London's brutal architecture. Skaters, BMXers and few kids on scooters show off as they make the rounds taking on the concrete obstacles in their path against a back drop of brightly coloured graffiti.
This sanctuary was saved by the Long Live South Bank movement so thankfully is still a truly enjoyable space for doers and spectators alike.
Walking east from the skate park meant I indulged in a stop in the South Bank Book Market, mulled wine in hand. I was heading towards the Tate Modern but stumbled upon Bankside Gallery; a space I didn't know existed until today but I'm sure glad I do now.
This cute gallery is free to visit and is currently showing the Mini Picture Show: RWS & RE Winter Exhibition showcasing a heap of small scale watercolours and art prints. Exhibitions coming up in 2018 include the Society of Wood Engravers and New Work, New Year so I'll definitely be popping back. This time armed with a tote bag so I can pick up something that brings a little extra joy to my home.
It's been a criminally long time since I stepped foot in the Tate Modern - an imposing building filled with creativity and boasting one of the best views in the city (don't believe me? Look at the third picture in the trio below. Switswoo, right?!).
After checking out exhibitions about swings & energy, colour, & evolving cities I headed up to the 6th to get to the observation deck somehow landing in the wrong tower. Typical, I know but in changing towers I landed in a chamber of Bruce Nauman's evocative neon displays. Violins Violence Silence and La Brea/Art Tips/Rat Spit/Tar Pits stood out for me in amongst the other in your face audio visual installations.
Getting lost has frequently credited me with some great experiences and that was no different. Finally making it up to the 10th floor of the Blavatnik Building, the unrivalled 360-degree view of my city as dusk began to settle in for the night was breathtaking, and eavesdropping funny conversations between two American friends about UK hospital car parks, I feel like I got more than I bargained for.