Long Live Southbank Group Art Show ‘426㎡: The Southbank Show’

Long Live Southbank (LLSB) announce the launch of ‘426㎡: The Southbank Show’, a major group art show featuring the talent of skateboarders and creatives from around the world, aiming to raise funds to restore London’s iconic skate spot. Hosted at StolenSpace Gallery in London’s East End and running until April 29, 2018, the collection of over 70 pieces of work is set to be one of the most quintessential skateboarding art shows to date.

It’s not often an art show so inextricably linked to place. 35 artists who have a connection to Southbank skate spot on London’s River Thames have contributed over 70 pieces of work to a definitive show which will display an eclectic range of mediums from the creative pool of skateboarding from across the globe.

‘426㎡’ refers to lost sections of Southbank long since hidden away from its skateboarding roots. Since approaching Southbank Centre in 2015, Long Live Southbank have created a unique opportunity to breath new life into the hallowed ground of London’s ‘skateboarding mecca’.

The show title also references the ‘high art meets popular culture’ television program series ‘The South Bank Show’, presented by Melvyn Bragg. Although the skate space on the South Bank has been an ever-present feature in the local landscape for decades, its natural creative and artistic flair has been overlooked by the shows producers.

The premise behind ‘426㎡: The Southbank Show’ is to expose this juxtaposition of the arts and display work by creatives who are directly part of the counterculture; not by those professing to do so. Long Live Southbank have fused the two middle words to create ‘The Southbank Show’ in a move to delete the imposed art divide created by the art elite and as a reference to the notion of art having to be either classical or outsider or high-end or low-end.

Over the past six months, Long Live Southbank have curated artists from the world of skateboarding and beyond, with work on show spanning multiple mediums and formats and including many specially made pieces. From Blondey McCoy’s UV printed mirrors and Haroshi’s sculptures using recycled skateboard decks to the playful illustrations of James Jarvis and the work of street artist Shepard Fairey; the art of skateboarding is as multi-layered as skateboarding itself – ‘426㎡: The Southbank Show’ gives a chance to glimpse into this often subversive world.

Southbank has been a landmark in the skate scene since 1973 and exists as the oldest continually skated spot in the world, frequented by people locally and from across the UK and around the globe. Now working together with Southbank Centre, LLSB hope to raise £790,000 to restore the undercroft spaces and permanently reopen them in 2018 for the first time in 14 years.

With many of the artworks on show available to buy to help raise the money needed for the restoration, it is hoped a significant amount of funds will be raised from sales. Many of the contributing artists in the pan-generational line up have their roots in Southbank, having gone on to create artworks that are equally as unique as the space itself.

Curated by Matt Nelmes and Paul Richards of LLSB, Nelmes, a local Southbank skater said;

‘Southbank is an incredibly special place when you consider how rare it is in our modern world, especially Central London. People from every background meet there, exchange ideas, paint and of course skate. In a sense it’s a bit like The Factory, just a lot colder and instead of Edie Sedgwick we’ve got Jeremy Jones.’

Contributing artists Nick Jensen, Arran Gregory, Domas Glatkauskas, Gregory Conroy, Blondey McCoy and Jeremy Jones have a deep connection with Southbank and the undercroft community, and have established successful art careers in their own right. ‘426㎡: The Southbank Show’ will display Southbank locals work alongside some of the most legendary artists in the world of skateboarding including Ed Templeton.

There are also new artworks by legendary artists which have never been seen before including Canadian illustrator Andrew Pommier’s ‘Hard to Explain’ depicting his characteristic figures in situ at Southbank. Pioneer of modern street skateboarding, Mark Gonzales, has created some watercolours especially for the show and several other rare and limited edition works will be available.

‘426㎡: The Southbank Show’ runs for two weeks from the 18th April at StolenSpace Gallery, 17 Osborn Street, London E1 6TD. And yes, LLSB can confirm there will be skateboards.

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Artist list

Andrew Pommier / Arran Gregory / ARTiSTA / Ben Gore / Blondey McCoy / Chet Childress / D*Face / Darren John / Domas Glatkauskas / Ed Templeton / Eloise Dorr / Fos / Ged Wells / Glen Fox / Goldie / Gregory Conroy / Gaurab Thakali / HaroshI / Jack Pearce / James Jarvis / Jeremy Jones / Jon Horner / Liisa Chisholm / Lucas Beaufort / Luka Pinto / Mark Gonzales / Matthew Bromley / Nick Jensen / OKO / Pontus Alv / Rainyrainforest / Shepard Fairey / Trav / Will Sweeney / Zin V.

About Long Live Southbank (LLSB)

Long Live Southbank (LLSB) is a non-profit grassroots organisation created by the Southbank Undercroft community in order to maintain and enhance the world’s longest continually used skate spot and promote the benefits of skateboarding and creative practices.

Set up in 2013, LLSB has been recognised for its award-winning work by key figures from across the fields of art, culture, politics and architecture following its success in saving the skate spot from being turned into shops.

Southbank has been skated for over 5 decades and is one of the world’s most iconic skate spots, drawing skateboarders, BMXers and street artists from across the globe, as well as being a springboard of creativity.

LLSB is made of a pan-generational group from the Southbank community who represent the broad age ranges, social backgrounds and life experiences of the Undercroft.

Since its inception LLSB has assisted skateboarding campaigns in the UK and worldwide and continue to promote the benefits and positivity of skateboarding. More information available at www.llsb.com. Crowdfunding site for the project: www.llsbdonate.com

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