Those of you who follow Cultivate’s sister blog over at Organ, will know we’ve been writing quite a lot about the alarming changes that are currently being threatened along the London Southbank and especially to the vitally important undercroft space.
The headline here is the Southbank board’s latest tactic seems to be to portray this as a skateboarders versus art issue, they seem to want to tell us that the skateboarders are the only people who use, value and celebrate this beautifully brutal organic art space. The argument is set out further down this page, as are links to explore more.
We at Cultivate, as working artists (who, on the whole don’t know one end of a skateboard from another) feel strongly enough about the misleading tactics and arrogant destruction being forced on us by those who run the Southbank complex and who claim to care about art, to cancel our planned August First Thursday Pop Will Eat Itself show and instead put in a completely new show called WE ARE ALL SKATEBOARDERS
WE ARE ALL SKATEBOARDERS will be a contemporary art group show, an open show – we invite painters, small scale sculptors, artists of all shapes and sizes to join us and make it clear that we all want the place to stay as it is and that we don’t want it destroyed . moved, hidden away in favour of yet more over-priced coffee shops, retail opportunities and sanitised programmed versions of what we already have.
This is not just about skateboarders, this is about us ALL losing something of massive artistic, historical and cultural importance, about a space we all enjoy… This will NOT be a show of skateboard related art, urban art, street art, that is not our point here, this is about ALL artists standing up and saying we are all skateboarders – abstract artists, contemporary artists, traditional artists…. Artists who wish to join us should make contact via firstname.lastname@example.org for more details, We will, as always be selective, this is an open call and there is no subject, no restriction, as long as the work excites us,,,,
We have nine days to pull this together, are you with us?
“Filmed and edited by LLSB spokesperson Henry Edwards-Wood, a skateboard cinematographer who grew up skating and filming at the Undercroft.
Please don’t let this wonderful example of what human beings can do together without money, planning, policing or institutional influence be destroyed by an organisation who are meant to be cultivating artistic expression and diversity”.
A Piece from the pages of Organ,…
THINGS… .I need to exclaim! We’ve brought it up before but it needs to be brought up again. We note that the suits and ties of the London Southbank art establishment, those suits who claim to really care about our art and our culture. the (elitist?) suits and ties (surely they’re not that elitist? Surely they’re not that out of touch?), the suits in control of our art – seems the suits are still hellbent on destroying the iconic (a word used far far too much, we use it here with much consideration, a term we don’t like to use unless something really really really is as iconic as the Southbank Skatepark Undercroft quite clearly is), seems the suits are still hellbent on destroying the skateboard/street art area on the beautiful bank of the River Thames, and replacing something that has been such an important part of London culture for over thirty years or more now – hellbent on replacing it with more coffee shops and, yes, just what we need on the Southbank, more “retai l opportunities”, more cynically overpriced tourist-abusing moneysucking faceless corporate American coffee shop chains…. .
The Southbank undercroft skateboard park area is one of the most important living breathing art-spaces in London – this is our heritage, this is our culture, this is our art, it isn’t yours to take away and shove out of sight around the back where no one can see it, find it, feel it. enjoy it, love it. Those walls and ramps need to be right where they currently are, right there, right by the river, living, breathing, evolving, they need to be celebrated as a vital part of the Southbank – there for those of us who haven’t got a clue about skateboards as well as those who love to ride their boards. A space there for us ALL to enjoy as we head for a performance at the Festival Hall, or to the Tate (or rush past the embarrassing fast-food horror that is the old GLC building). I’ve never been on a skateboard in my life, this is not just about skateboards, – this is about art, music, hip-hop culture, punk rock evolution, this is a place respected and celebrated worldwide, this is not about shoving a group of young people enjoying their sport around the back, out of the way, where they can get on with it out of sight and out of mind! This is about vitally important art happening in a very important, culturally significant, art space, this is about ever evolving culture, about every drop of paint that has ever touched those walls, about artists who’s named we’ll never know, about the colour on those ramps, the paint on those supports, about the evolving walls of art – art as important as anything along the path at the Tate or any operatic performance happening in the Festival Hall. Those walls are alive, they’re exciting, those walls are organic, things of ever-changing beauty, and to even consider destroying that space in the name of art or commerce or whatever you want to call it, is beyond arrogance, beyond criminal. What price art? Surely a little more than just another plastic cup of coffee and maximising earning potential? (Sean Worrall)
“On Thursday the 4th July 2013 LLSB journeyed to Brixton to deliver over 14,000 individual objections to Lambeth Town hall! After handing what we understand to be the UK’s largest public objection of its kind at 1.30pm to Councillor Diana Braithwaite, and while the objections continued to pour in, LLSB spokesperson Henry Edwards-Wood shared his feelings” LLSB would like to thank all our supporters and volunteers for your hard work, passion and enthusiasm. Special thanks to Equality organisation and Music and Arts Festival UpRise for ongoing support and their understanding of the importance of out-the-box and emerging arts and culture, and for standing shoulder to shoulder with LLSB” (Music: ‘AWAYNow’ by Tawiah feat Micachu)
further reading, exploring, viewing…
ORGAN THING OF THE DAY (July 8th): WE ARE ALL SKATEBOARDERS
BEN BRADSHAW MP on the SOUTHBANK UNDERCROFT
“I hope the Southbank Centre will think again” – The former Culture Secretary and MP for Exeter adds his backing to the Long Live Southbank campaign.