Colourful crossing joins public artworks on London’s Southwark Street
The Office for Crafted Architecture collective has brought colour to one of the busiest streets in London’s Bankside, with a bold new pedestrian crossing incorporating a red and white checkered board game. From here, visitors can use a specially created map to explore the surrounding streets following an alphabet of stories about local characters and histories.
‘Colourful Crossings’ on Southwark Street, SE1, has been commissioned as part of the Better Bankside Business Improvement District (BID) Avenue of Art public art initiative with the aim of bringing greater footfall and encouraging people to linger in the spaces. It will soon be joined by a photographic piece by Morgan Silk. Visible only from one particular viewpoint, Silk’s work depicts a falling woman – a reference to a medieval burial ground for prostitutes.
Until 8 January, visitors to the area can also enjoy New York based artist Adam Frank’s ‘Performer’ under Redcross Way railway bridge. Walking through a spotlight (from 6-10pm) elicits a spontaneous round of applause, with more movement, such as dancing, generating more fervent clapping.
“We want to make Bankside a better place to live, work and visit,” said Donald Hyslop, Head of Partnerships at Tate, and Chair of Better Bankside. “‘The Colourful Crossings’ project will transform the public realm to the benefit of the local businesses and visitors to the area. We aim to draw footfall further south from the busy riverside stretch, encouraging people to explore Southwark Street and beyond and discover Bankside’s full cultural offer.”
‘Colourful Crossings’ is part-funded through Transport for London’s ‘Future Streets’ project and joins existing street art in the area including Ian Davenport’s ‘Poured Lines’ by Blackfriars Road and Mark Titchener’s ‘Another World is Possible’ on the exterior of the citizenM hotel.