Grow your own ideas


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.

Urban Birdspotting

This bright chap(ess) swooped into my garden the other day, scattering the blue tits
and pigeons.

Around the size of a pigeon it seemed so exotic.
I rushed to grab a few pictures from the bathroom window before he/she flew away.

Turns out that it’s a Jay.
According the the RSPB website they’re difficult to catch a glimpse of, being “shy woodland birds, rarely moving far from cover”.
Must have come over from Epping Forest where we walked ourselves later that day.


Leytonstone Community Garden Launch

Sunday, went to the launch of the Leytonstone Community Garden that will arise on a patch of land beside the tube tracks. Encouraging that not every scrap of land is being built on. Let’s hope that something can be created as inspiring as the Abbey Gardens in West Ham.

There was an optimistic and friendly vibe at the launch – the kids were appeased with cake and squash, we were rewarded for filling out questionnaires with strong jute shopping bags (which we then filled up at Tescos – it’s a start anyhow).
There’s more information about the Church Lane Community Garden on the Transition Leytonstone site