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Leake Street

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Tuesday 6 May 2008 8.48am
Personally I think SE1 residents should feel honoured that the artists decided to choose this tunnel for their FREE show. I went on the first day thanks to seeing the news of it's opening on this forum. It was one of the best exhibitions I have ever seen locally and the crowd inside was composed of all ages and far more young people than you would get at most shows. It was as far from the normal tagging sort of graffiti as a Turner Oil painting is from a painted toilet wall. The medium isn't always the message. The wonderful thing about SE1 is that the community is generally diverse enough to welcome this sort of exhibition as well as the more mundane shows such as The London Dungeon ma provide. A small amount of disruption from the underpass was a tiny price to pay. The London Dungeon crowd is there week in week out.
Tuesday 6 May 2008 9.01am
Well I, and many thousands of other ppl came to the 'Cans Festival' at Leake Street and had a thoroughly marvelous time taking in the stencil graffiti art and other installations, joyous at the fact that finally a snippet of our city had finally been given over for an event involving the legal & free expression of some of europe's best graffiti artists. That the event was so popular just goes to show how legitimate the likes of Banksy (who was just one of many graf artists exhibiting) and graffiti art in general has become with the general public at large.

The Turner prize probably doesn't get such high footfall!!!
Tuesday 6 May 2008 9.17am
'Isn't it grand! Isn't it fine! Look at the cut, the style, the line!
The suit of clothes is all together
But all together it's all together
The most remarkable suit of clothes that I have ever seen.'
Tuesday 6 May 2008 5.32pm
"... is now covered in unsightly graffiti..."

Have you actually seen the work?!
Tuesday 6 May 2008 6.16pm
Rambling Phil has a good point about doubtfully-executed right-of-way closures, but perhaps he might more usefully apply his energies to places where these are contrary to the interests of the general public, like Skinmarket Place, Cardinal Cap Alley, and the foreshore access steps under Southwark Bridge, all of which have been blocked off illegally and no enforcement action taken by Southwark Council.

I went along to Leake St on Monday, and although I have never been into street art, I am now! I thought it was one of the best art events held recently in SE1. It was unique, vibrant, living, of its time and place, participated in by hundreds and enjoyed by thousands. It is the sort of event that makes me glad and proud to live in SE1.
Wednesday 7 May 2008 4.02pm
HelenCarina wrote:
This is regularly in use by members of the public, and is now covered in unsightly graffiti which by the sound of things will not be removed. Growing up on Merseyside I associate a graffiti filled subway with danger and crime, something to be avoided - is this the image we want future visitors to be greeted with? Most people outside of London haven't heard of Banksy so wouldn't appreciate the 'artistic' sentiment.

I think that most people will be able to spot the difference between the street art in Leake Street, see 3 photos I took below, and mindless tagging which I assume is the unsightly graffiti that you refer to.







Reactionary yes, it's a pity that you didn't actually go down to Leake Street and make up your mind for yourself before posting your condemnation.

When I went down last night having been away for the weekend, there was a queue of people waiting for the tunnel to reopen at 8. This was not just trendy young Shoreditch types but a complete cross section of the community in age, ethnicity and class. I was chatting to a middle aged lady in the queue and we both found it amusing that we were queuing up to visit Leake Street whereas this time last week wouldn't have even been keen to walk through it!
Wednesday 28 May 2008 8.53pm
HelenCarina wrote:
This is regularly in use by members of the public, and is now covered in unsightly graffiti which by the sound of things will not be removed. Growing up on Merseyside I associate a graffiti filled subway with danger and crime, something to be avoided - is this the image we want future visitors to be greeted with? Most people outside of London haven't heard of Banksy so wouldn't appreciate the 'artistic' sentiment.

I don't know how to break it to you that the Tate Modern frontage is now covered in 'unsightly graffiti'. :-)

Clearly Nicholas Serota is a little more open minded to street art than you are!
Thursday 29 May 2008 9.05am
It's amazing but Leake Street has become something of an unlikely tourist attraction. There are regularly 20 to 30 people wandering up and down what was previously a dank and usually deserted street. Mind you I dont seem to be able to appreciate whatever it is they see in the graffiti myself.
Tuesday 22 July 2008 5.27pm
Went and had a look at this today, with my camera to hand. Fantastic. Best exhibition I've been to in a while, and free to boot. It's such a shame so many of Banksy's works in the area have been buffed - eg the one that used to be by Crockatt and Powell.
Wednesday 23 July 2008 10.18pm
I still regularly walk through Leake Street (now that Mr Banksy's polite goons have gone away).

While I can sort of see Smoggy's point about the quality of some of the stencilled art (some of it even managed to get a smile out of me), he/she should go back now and see what the tagging little scrotes have done all over it.

The whole place is dank and even more depressing now than it was before Banksy's festival of vandalism.

What I really don't understand is the school trips; encouraging another generation of talentless kids to think that vandalism is a valid-form of self-expression.

It keeps them out of the proper art galleries, in the same way that McDonalds keeps them out of proper restaurants, so I ought to be grateful, I suppose.
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