The art of Leake St tunnel.

Wednesday 26 June 2013, Leake St, Waterloo, London.

Leake St tunnel is a legal graffiti area near Waterloo Station and I was last there back in January and talked about it briefly in this post. One of my fellow street art bloggers, the always cool Inspiring City, went there at the weekend to have a look at a paint jam organised by London Vandal to raise money for cancer research. I would have gone if I had known about it !

I have not heard of most of the painters in action at the weekend so it was time to go and have a quick look see. Though I did not recognise much of the work, it was still pretty interesting and there were quite a few other people there taking photos as well.


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Unknown 🙂

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There is a load more stuff to look at, mostly graf rather than ‘art’, but is a cool spot and worth a visit.

Life is about using the whole box of crayons.

Friday June 21 2013 – London.

To save having to repeat myself I should just refer you, dear reader, back to the opening paragraph of my last week wrap-up post which discusses the complete lack of progress on the job front… Oh well, good things come with time.

On Monday I signed myself up to Twitter, not that I can ever see myself tweeting, there is no way I can say anything in just one hundred and sixty characters! I signed up because it seems to be the best way to find out about things I am interested in, in the most expedient way. Hopefully from now on I will not miss so many good gigs and interesting exhibitions, plus of course football results when the season starts.

On Monday night El and I went to see Siouxsie Sioux and band perform at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the Yoko Ono curated Meltdown Festival. I had only heard about the gig quite late so by the time I got tickets we were in the third row from the back. There were so many great acts playing as part of the festival, I would have really liked to have seen Patti Smith and the Stooges – especially supported by Savages, a young English band who I really like.


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What can I say about the gig ? I guess “Wow” sums it up pretty well. The sound and lights were amazing, Siouxsie looked amazing in a skin tight white vinyl body suit and her voice had not changed in thirty years, she sounded fantastic. The band was not the Banshees, but still good.

The bulk of the set was the album Kalaidoscope played from start to finish, with the opener ‘Happy house’ sending shivers up my spine – it sounded that good. It was a surprise as I really expected a greatest hits show, but it is a great album, so no complaints. There were a couple of encores, with a bunch of classics ‘Israel’, ‘Spellbound’ and ‘Arabian nights’ being the highlights. They did of course do the big hit ‘Prudence’, but meh, a Beatles track is never going to be a favourite of mine, though the rest of the crowd loved it ! Siouxsie did a few songs off a solo album I have never heard and none of them really got me going – average rock songs I thought. It was great show – hour and half long, awesome venue and she still has the voice and the moves. Siouxsie was supported by another old punk hero, Viv Albertine from The Slits, who performed some songs from her first album in twenty five years. She was pretty good too.

As the gig was just up the Southbank from my place we walked home. its not bad walk..

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On Tuesday I walked back up to the Southbank again as I noticed some of the graffiti had changed at the skate park and I really liked this new one and thought I should photograph it before it was painted over.




I walked back home via the streets rather than the river side and found this little Space Invader under one of the arches for the train tracks to Blackfriars station.


I also found a wonderful photography exhibition from members of the Arena group at the Menier Gallery in Southwark. I was there for a good hour, which is pretty remarkable for me in a gallery. There was a good range of styles on display from a number of very good photographers. I loved it and would have liked to have shared it with El but it finished later in the week sadly.

In the evening I went over to Dartford to visit my uncle and to pick up my tri-pod -I must do some night photography sometime soon, no excuses now!

On Wednesday I had arranged to meet a friend for lunch in Shephards Bush so took the train over to Westbourne Grove and had walked over to SheBu and looked for some of the small patches of street art in the area – it is the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea so I was not expecting too much. There is an old Banksy at the far end of Portobello Rd though.

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I caught up with my cousin for a beer in Soho in the late afternoon which was great, I have been very slack with catching up with family and for that I do apologise !!

I have been thinking about getting a pushbike for a while now and on Friday I decided to start having a serious look around, I found a couple of bike shops on the internet that were reasonably local and went for a walk to see if I could find something. Sadly one place no longer existed and the second did not have anything I wanted – basically a single speed with raised mountain bike style bars. I am not in a particular rush but it would mean I could roam a bit further without having to use public transport – plus I want to be able to ride to work if I can, when I get the elusive job!

I found out on Twitter (only time it has been useful so far! ) that it was world skate day today so I waited to late in the afternoon and then grabbed my big camera and zoom lens for a change and went out to have a look see. There were a lot of skaters there and a couple of them were pretty good. I watched from the wings for a while, snapped a few photos and then started the walk back home.

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It was great to be out with the big camera and long lens and I took quite few other photos around and from South bank. It was all good fun.

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The skyline of London is slowly changing, especially over the ‘city’. The tall building in the middle is known as the cheese grater. It is designed like this so that it does not sit in the sightline of St Pauls – the council allows that no building should spoil some designated clear sights of St Pauls, which I think is pretty cool, especially when I get shots like the one below.

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Outside the Tate Modern some buskers were bubble blowing massive bubbles to the delight of a lot of children – and one or two adults as well.

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Further along the Thames at Bankside I found these young buskers playing cellos which sounded amazing in the tunnel of the arches.

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It was a pretty good week, I didn’t achieve much on the work front but I saw some good stuff, heard some great music and spent some time with some great people!

Southbank Skate park

On Monday I finally did something I never thought I would do and signed up to Twitter. It seems a lot of activities that I am interested in like gigs and exhibitions are now promoted on Twitter first. Today I saw a tweet about go skateboarding day being held today and thought I should head back along to Southbank to see what was happening.

For a change I took the big camera with the big lens as I hardly ever use it and it seemed like the best option for shooting skaters. The skate park at Southbank is covered and a little dim for flash free photography, so a reasonably tough shoot. There were a couple of quite good skaters there, along with a couple of photographers and some guys shooting video so I kind of stayed out of the way.

As I mentioned on this post there is a proposal to move the skate park and re-use the location for retail outlets and frankly this sucks….

More here

Here is what I got.

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The (limited) street art of Ladbroke Grove.

Wednesday 19 June 2013 – Ladbroke Grove, London.

For a while now I have been wanting to check to see if there was any street art left near the Westway at the ends of both Portobello Rd and Ladbroke Grove. Yesterday I was meeting a friend for lunch in Shephards Bush so I took the opportunity to catch the tube to Westbourne Grove and have a look around, before walking to She Bu. Naturally I chose the hottest day of the year so far. At 26 degrees and with high humidity I really should have worn shorts as it was a sticky walk.

There are a couple of pieces at the end of Portobello Rd that I have seen before, mainly this piece by Banksy.

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and this piece by Paul don Smith.

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This piece by CODE FC, looks quite old as well.


I walked up Portobello Rd as I was looking for the Graffik Gallery which has a collection of very expensive work for sale, but was in between exhibitions. On the outside of their building was another one of the “Thomas the tank’ stencils I saw for the first time in Blackall St last Friday, I now know they are by iCON.

The area under the arches of the Westway was barriered off with hoardings and behind them I spotted a couple of Stiks as well as some other work but I could not get a clear look at them so I followed the Westway down to Ladbroke Grove in the hunt for some rumoured painting there. I did find two walls in the same block that had been painted. iCON seems to be quite prolific here.




As well as a piece by Elmo Hood


And a few other bits and pieces




I walked around a bit more but did not find anything else, though I was pretty happy to find any at all, the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is not really a street art / graffiti place !

Another week goes by.

Sunday June 16 2013- London

A further week with no recruitment agencies or employers leaping out to offer me fantastic roles. In fact it was a very quiet week on the job front, with not many IT management roles even being advertised. I will give it to the end of the month before changing strategy – not sure to what yet, but this applying for roles on-line does not seem to be working out so far. I do need to exercise patience though, as I know this is not going to be an absolutely straight forward process.

Looking back at the week it appears I didn’t do too much, but I was always busy so I must have achieved something! I have had a flatmate for the past week, Amjad is a Palestinian American who is completing a PhD at Kings College here in London. He was Kevin’s first flatmate and usually stays here when he comes over from Chicago. He is in London for nine days and is staying at the flat for the duration. It is quite nice to have someone to chat to during the day for a change, and we have had some good discussions. The weather was pretty good too so on Tuesday we took a fairly long walk into London and had a very nice  lunch for a very good price in an old pub near Kings.

We started off walking along the Southbank, at the Southbank skate park I was taking photos of the graffiti and started reading some of the posters about a new development at the Southbank which will mean the closure of London’s oldest skate park. Like many others I am very much against this and have signed an online petition supporting the skaters.


I am writing this post a week later and that small mural has gone already !

Amjad had never visited the area around Westminster Abbey  and  the houses of parliament so we crossed the bridge and looked around the area before walking over to Kings for lunch. It was a good day out.


I had heard that London based Italian street artist RUN, was painting the wall at the Village Underground in Shoreditch so on Wednesday I caught a tube to Old St and then walked down to have a look see at the art around the area. I posted some images here.

Thursday was a big day for me – I bought a suit ! I have been thinking about getting one so I am ready for any job interviews that come up. Plus next weekend El and I are going to a party with a James Bond Casino Royale theme and I need to dress up for that. So yeah, it was time to dress like a grown up again (for the first time? ). I went to the big mall at Stratford and wandered blindly around for a while before El came along after work to help me choose. This was definitely a wise idea – that lime green toweling suit was cool though ! I ended up paying a little more than I would have liked, but not too much more, and now I have a very nice contemporary dark grey suit.

There was another major event in the house on Friday – I shaved my beard off.  I was kind of getting sick of it and like the suit, losing it was probably going to be a requirement for job interviews. Though I am already over shaving 🙂

Once I was smoothly faced I went back to see the completed RUN painting and then had a look around all the street art in Blackall Street before walking up to Camden to meet El after work.

Our first ‘date’ was at the Hawley Arms pub in Camden and we pretty much meet there most Fridays now as it is close to El’s work and more importantly, it is a cool pub. Service is a bit crap mind, but the Clash used to hang out there along with Amy Winehouse and any number of other (in)famous rock and rollers. It also plays pretty good music, it’s the only pub I know that plays Joy Division to the Friday after work crowd.



We only stayed for one drink and then went to one of El’s friends house to start watching series three of Game of Thrones, which we were all very excited about. And it was good! We saw the first three episodes and I am looking forward to watching the rest of the series – though I do not what happens in the new famous episode nine.

The weather was a bit off and on over the weekend, but we did manage to do some gardening at El’s which was very enjoyable. I didn’t think that would happen, but now that I do not own a garden of my own it seems so much more fun to be pulling weeds, mowing lawns and hacking up trees.

Walthamstow has a food festival on at the moment and we went to a pop-up restaurant at the William Morris Gallery for a drink and a meal, it was a very nice evening. We were also shown how to make origami cranes – mine is the crumpled one !


Mum / sisters, here are a couple of photos for you…



Blackall St – ‘Art thieves operating in this area’

Friday 14 June 2013 – Shoreditch, London.


I frequently walk up to Camden on Friday afternoons and today I decided to go via Shoreditch and visit Blackall St, an alley off of Great Eastern St.

Blackall St, is a narrow single lane road surrounded on both sides by the back of office blocks, it is also the home to a wide range of graffiti and street art. I imagine it is worth a visit every couple of months to see what is new. It is a cool little street and I had an enjoyable twenty minutes perusing the large number of small pieces, too many to really take it all in.

I did not recognise many of the artists, so will start with the few I do know.





I have not seen any Bortusk characters since my first street art walk along Regents Canal back in December – and the ones I saw then have all gone from the canal walls.




MOTFU and Alice Pasquini’s lovers


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And loads of other things, I really like the Thomas the tanks and the sheep.







The woman on the bottom of the door is by C215




Long live Southbank!

Monday 17 June 2013 – London

Even when I wasn’t living nearby I walked Southbank fairly often, nowadays it is my main walking route when ever I go across the Thames and into London City or the West End. One of the places I always stop to look at is the skate park in the under croft of the SouthBank Centre. The skate park has been here for over forty years and has often been described as the heart of skateboarding in London.

I am no skater, but I like the are as it is a small anarchic section of the otherwise clean and tidy tourist dominated Southbank, plus of course I like the fact that the graffiti changes all the time and that skaters of all ages and races use the park at the weekends – though it was very quiet on a weekday morning…

The owners of the Southbank Centre recently announced plans to redevelop the area into a retail park as part of a larger upgrade to the centre. The skaters would be moved on to a new purpose built area further up the river.  The last thing the Southbank needs is less fun and more coffee shops….

I dispair when “progress” means destroying a cultural icon for the sake of more retail outlets.

More here







Swan with hands – the completed RUN painting

On Friday afternoon I went back to the Village Underground wall in Shoreditch to have a look at the newly completed piece that I spent some time watching street artist RUN paint on Wednesday.

I did not take the Canon with the wide-angle lens, so could not quite fit it all in – it is a big wall!

I love the painting though – and it will be gone in a month…



From RUN to D*Face and a bunch of stuff in between.

Wednesday 12 June 2013 – Shoreditch(ish)

I follow a number of blogs and Bookface pages that have references to the London street art scene and yesterday I saw a photo of RUN painting the large wall at Village Underground. This wall is curated by Street Art London and features a different artist each month. I decided that today’s walk would be a street art walk back in the area around Shoreditch.

For a change I had a bit of a plan of things I wanted to see so I took the tube to Old St and walked down from there.  I was looking for a piece on one of the side streets off of Old St, but could not find it, so not such a great start, though with the temporary nature of street art, there is a reasonable chance it had already been painted over.

I did find RUN easily enough, a little bit behind where he planned to be today, but working away on a new masterpiece.

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I had a little look around the area towards Great Eastern Street and found some new characters by Space Invader.

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A new piece by Otto Schade – thanks to Inspiring City Blog for giving me the name of the artist.

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Broken Fingaz

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Curtain St mural.

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When I was watching RUN paint I heard that Broken Fingaz were painting on a wall up Hackney Rd, painting over one of the few remaining Toasters in London. This shot was taken back in winter, which I guess is obvious from all the snow…

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I will say the new piece was done at the request of property owner !

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I also found this new piece by American artist Giai on a side street.

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I wandered back down to Brick Lane as I wanted to photograph this Tame Iti (A controversial figure, well known to most New Zealanders) that I spotted when I was last here.

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I wandered up and down some of the side streets around Brick Lane on the way to my final destination and found a few pieces I had not seen before. Starting with a ROA pig – on Bacon St 🙂

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A Malarky

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A new piece by Fin Dac

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A Dscreet

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A Stik, I really like all the little Stiks drawn on the door.

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I also discovered that RUN is the artist behind the telephones I first saw at Baroque the Streets a couple of weeks ago.

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Another fabulous Daleast

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And some quite cool little stickers  by d7606

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My final planned destination for the day was the exhibition at Stolen Space gallery and a visit to D*Face’s workspace upstairs.

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It was a good day out and I will have to go back next week and see the completed RUN work, plus the recent ROA mural that was my original plan before I got distracted up Hackney Rd.

Another week – another dollar (spent :( )

Sunday 09 June 2013 – London

Another week has passed and still no joy on the job front. I did have a recruitment agency call me on Friday which was very exciting, however it seems I was missing one key skill – I am of course only assuming this as I was not contacted again even though the agent said he would. This is a very frustrating process, even the agencies which profess to be different – read better, than the others are just crap at communicating with applicants. Anyways, rant over and I will keep calm and carry on as the English say.

The weather was pretty good for most of the past week, sunny but with a cool wind, but it did mean I went out every day for a decent every day, not that many were visually very exciting and though I took my camera with me I didn’t use it that much. I even squeezed in another run amongst the mega walks, it was only moderately less awful than the last one.

On Tuesday night El and I went to see one of my current favourite New Zealand pop bands, Popstrangers, playing at Cargo in Shoreditch. They were third on the bill supporting Splashh, a band made up of NZers, an Aussie and an Englishman. There was a good crowd there for a Tuesday night and I liked the venue. I did feel for Popstrangers as the sound was awful for them – very sludgy. The sound was great for the second band and for the first half of Splashh’s set and then it went to sludge again, not sure why. Splashh were pretty good and I would see them again. The lighting was poor so I only took a snap or two of Popstrangers and then gave up and enjoyed the music.

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The highlight for Wednesday was taking a walk up to the Southbank Centre – about thirty minutes away and picking up these, needless to say I am looking forward to this show!


On the way back from the collecting tickets I watched these guys making a sand piano on one of the small spots of sand on the Thames side.



On Thursday morning I Skyped my mum and youngest son back in New Zealand, it was the Skype since I left three weeks ago and it was lovely to see them both and catch up on some home news. I was very excited to be walking to Gosh! Comics in Soho as my favourite street artist phlegm has just released a book of his sketches and Gosh! is the only stockist in London. It took me about an hour to walk in and it was a perfect day for a long walk. While in Soho I visited the Photographers Gallery to check out the recent exhibitions, still not my cup of tea ! however the gallery is great and I will continue to visit regularly.

I had arranged to meet El for a walk and lunch in Regents Park so strolled up there next, past this abandoned pub with its ” A little pub with a big welcome” sign, I guess big welcomes was not what the punters wanted. I am constantly surprised at the amount of closed pubs – even in the centre of town.


I met El at the far end of Regents Park, back on the Regents Canal and we pretty much arrived at the meeting place at exactly the same time.


We had lunch in the park and then walked back to her office in Camden, strolling past some very expensive central London real estate, even the vicars have Ferraris….


(actually, it is probably not the vicar’s car…)

We passed a couple of bits of graffiti on the way into Camden, given its iconic ‘edgy’ status I am always surprised there is not more here, council by-laws prohibit it I am guessing.



I then caught the train home, knackered after a very long walk, but very excited to have a good look at my book. The cover is wonderful.




On Friday I did another mega walk, I started at Little Venice, sort of where the Regents Canal blends into a couple of others and a centre point for canal boats. It was a nice sunny day and a good day to be strolling again.



I walked back into west end and up to Covent Garden as I was after a decent day bag back pack, carrying cameras and other things in a shoulder bag for long periods is giving me sore back, time to try something else. I had the worst pub lunch ever in Covent Garden and then walked home. I went up to El’s after work and we popped down to the local boozer, the Rose and Crown, to see one of her friends cover band play. It was a fun night.

Saturday we walked down through Walthamstow Market to the marshes near the canal, it was another nice day to be outside, looking over the canal to Clapton, I like how the little old pub sits amongst the newer architectural monstrosities of the estate.


The rest of the weekend passed sans-camera. El and I took her youngest son (15) to see the new Star Trek movie in 3d, I enjoyed the movie, not so much the 3d…. One of El’s out of town friends was in town for a gig and staying the night so Sunday we all had breakfast in a local cafe and then went into Kings Cross to the British Library to visit the Propaganda exhibition being held there. It was OK, I would liked to have seen a few more of the classic propaganda posters from around the second world war and early cold war period, but it was interesting non-theless.

Sunday night had the start of the French TV series “The Returned”, I was really looking forward to seeing it and was not disappointed at all. Moody and brilliant, looking forward to watching it all.