London’s Swings and Roundabouts; My playground…

One thing I love about London, and not living too far from it either, is there’s always something different going on in the city. If you wake up one day, pack your camera into your bag and grab the first train you can, you’re guaranteed to experience and capture something you never really thought could happen that one day you decided to venture out.The architecture, the people, the entertainment, the bars, clubs, music scene, street performances, the markets, the graffiti and street art, the museums, galleries and exhibitions; the whole atmosphere ranging from the vibrant character of the urban to the nutritious inner city, roaming with versatile and culturally aware urbanites charged with love and fuelling zaps of uniqueness into the city. There’s the odd one or two that haven’t quite grasped this notion yet but let’s not let these studs grind down this optimistic outlook and ongoing potential on what this capital offers.

Let’s Stick Together

Last year I was assisting a photographer assigned to work at a theatre alongside The Big Issue Foundation and whilst waiting I decided to sit by the Statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus and do what I do best whilst waiting; people watch.…I’ve got a thing for shooting people shooting people. Where they’re so preoccupied on shooting they’re not realising I’m shooting them, it’s like a ‘behind the scenes’ of what they’re shooting, but I’ll never really know what they’re shooting!  I remember walking passed a group of lads and a pile of bags next to them, and these bags surrounded a black box. 5 minutes passed after sitting down, hip hip came on or something alike, one of them started busting a move then PSY’s Gangnam Style came on. They then formed a line and started dancing in sync, other than one.That’s when the penny dropped. I’ve seen this group before but didn’t have my camera then, but this time I was equipped. The group’s notorious for performing to PSY’s Gangnam Style with their own twist of a freestyle break dance and a comical narrative, kinda reminded me of Charlie Chaplin getting together with Laurel and Hardy, not sure why, with some of the recognised dance moves seen in the music video included. It raked in a crowd as per, their level of performance was worth the watch, and it was free. As far as I’m aware, the gent dressed in white far right is King Corville who’s a common face within the London street performance scene.Once the group had finished performing temporarily and everyone dispersed, took my opportunity to shoot strangers doing their own thing rather than focusing on the performance in one direction. Whilst I was looking through my lens, kinda like a pirate scanning the sea of people, I come across one of the performers giving me this look, not entirely sure how long he’d been staring at me for.5 of the places I love most in London; Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square for their awakened streets full of performers. Shoreditch for its free art up on the walls…

Stiks & Otto Schade

Street Art by Mr Cenz

Westminster, Marble Arch and certain surrounding areas for clean architecture. As well as looking ahead, it’s also worth looking up every now and then too. And then you have the legalised graffiti tunnel on Leake Street…Leake Street Graffiti tunnel is specifically for graffiti artists to come and legally create art and do what they love without any authoritative bugger telling them off. This tunnel is home to tags and art from graffiti kings such as King Robbo. Loved seeing the work displayed there, especially when you’ve got a performance going on like these artists pictured, strangely bizarre seeing them at work in broad daylight. Pictured above is Funky Letters, and as for the artist pictured below, I didn’t get his name ’cause I didn’t wanna interrupt what he was doing as he was moving in full flow!Another aspect I love about London’s streets is an annual light festival called Lumier London. A light show run by Artichoke, takes place at the start of the year, bringing artists together to create light installations incorporated within the city’s architectural structure. I highly recommend this one. They give you a starting point where you can collect a map providing all the locations of the installations for you to make your own way. I’d say start early so you don’t miss any, as some are mesmerising and a little difficult to walk away from. Also, it was a little nippy travelling to different parts of London so wrap up warm. I say nippy, it was actually freezing! But, food and drinks are always available to keep you going too!My next step of adventure is visiting public restrooms that have been converted into cafes and bars, and a maze; pictures to follow when I get there, and if I find me way out!

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