The South Bank Centre at the weekend was engulfed in a festival of homespun politics and DIY culture. Grow Your Own Ideas being inspired by the work of artist Bob and Roberta Smith.
The roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall sprouted this magnificent wild flower garden.
During the Second World War bombsites became impromptu parks and gardens – the site around St. Paul’s was particularly lush with tall stems of flowers and blossoming Buddliea.
Large areas of post-industrial London could look like this again – such a shame to sell the Royal Docks to the Chinese government when it could be reclaimed by nature.
I’d filmed Bob and Roberta Smith making then installing his Mobile Brownfield Site outside the Royal Festival Hall for Pestival in 2010. His old Volvo and its trailer festooned with weeds, nettles and moss.
Later in the afternoon on Saturday my film about Bob, Make Your Own Damn Art, was screened in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Then the Ken Ardley Playboys punk-rocked out against a backdrop of old archive film demonstrating home crafts.
I spotted this wonderful Bob and Roberta Smith poster at White City Tube Station a few years back.
When I went back with a better camera to document it properly it had gone …. but where?
Perhaps it shunted further west down the Central Line to Perivale or Greenford.
As I was sat at the front of the room during the Q&A I noticed a hatch at the top of the wall near the ceiling then cast my eyes across to a ladder running down the wall and realised that where we sat chatting about Bob’s art and my film was where firemen would have slid down a pole and raced off to battle blazes across Islington.
You can watch the film through Curzon on Demand
Filmed in sunny Leytonstone – London’s lost cultural quarter.
There’s more info about the film here