Shiny shiny


In Southwark, they have lots of ugly bridges criss-crossing their streets. So they've stuck interesting light displays underneath, like this one, to cheer you up as you pass under the railway track. Even through the greasy, useless lense of our phone camera, see how they sparkle.

We have a few grotty underpasses in Brockley too and nothing but billboards (usually for some evangelical organisation or other) to light our way...

64 comments:

Brockley Kate said...

I think that's very near my work! There are certainly a fair few around here. They do indeed look great. I wish they'd do something similar with the bridge by Brockley Cross.

nobbly brick said...

Some topics are always going to get critical - especially when the Council is mentioned (and often for good reason), but it's nice to have things that are there to spread a bit of joy for downtrodden Londoners, and is a bit better than 'amateur' (for want of a better word) art.

Don't get me going on cycling, I used to ride 100 miles a week minimum, now cyclists think nothing of going through a red light - its outrageous.

Brockley Nick said...

NB said:

"it's nice to have things that are there to spread a bit of joy for downtrodden Londoners..."

Quite.

Headhunter said...

I know that spot! I used to run through there on my way to and from work. There used to be sparkly lights on the pavement, and now it seems they've added lights on the wall!

Hugh said...

I cycle along Stamford Street every day to and from my citadel in the Square Mile. That display is superb, as is the stripes painting beneath Blackfriars Bridge.

keep if soufside, yeh?

Hugh said...

That was an 'it'. Bollocks.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone had any experience of the evangelical services, or any thoughts on their methods of advertising?

They certainly look very... interesting.

Brockley Nick said...

How much do you reckon something like that costs? Anyone got any ideas?

Hugh said...

Materials and electricity, a few grand. Mark-up for objet status, several tens of grands on top.

max said...

As a bunch of coloured lights to brighten up the sleepy commmuter's trip to work it may be successful, artistically speaking I think that it's ghastly. At best it's manneristic, in the manner of dried out graphic designers that fill spaces of dots because they haven't got one idea to express.

nobbly brick said...

Oh max, you old conservative you...

I'm all for public art, but the commissioning of, and the siting of, and the egos involved in both of the previous, are legion and intimidating, but should not stand in the way of a project that could include Ladywell, or indeed Brockley.

However, the Council does not have a sparkling history in this area, but they are not alone. The recent installations at St Pancras are appalling, but we do have Goldsmiths on our doorstep, and we can do no worse than try and emulate their magnificent new(ish) building and it's fabulous twirling top.

max said...

I agree on the twirling top, it's very good indeed but those lights may have been bought at auction, formerly window dressing of some West End Shop gone bust.

By the way, I don't know if there's anything like that here but in Italy every new public building must spend 1% of the budget on decorative art.

drakefell debaser said...

Has anyone had any experience of the evangelical services, or any thoughts on their methods of advertising?

Yep, around crimbo time I answered my front door dishevelled and badly hung over thinking it was the post man only to find a team of JW’s waiting to launch into ‘we can save you, but if not here is a magazine’.

I don’t agree with religion and certainly not one that has a propensity to catch you when you are rarely at your best.

Anonymous said...

I find answering the door with an erection hopes. At best they leave you alone, at worst at least there's somewhere to hang their coats.

lb said...

"in Italy every new public building must spend 1% of the budget on decorative art"

Admirable, but I don't think anything of the kind applies here. Mind you, that's probably a good thing, given the potential clashes between the competing egos of politicians and of the artists concerned and the dire tastes shown by the general public.

Couldn't they get some talented Goldsmiths students (assuming there are some) to do a few public sculptures or installations for free? They'd probably be glad of the exposure.

Graeme said...

I always find that out-evangelising the doorstepping evangelists does the trick. A ten minute discourse on esoteric philosophy and mysticism will have them quaking with fear.

echo said...

Saw those coloured light things near London Bridge on New Years Eve. The colours go through a cycle.

Something like that would look OK mounted on the underside of the railway bridge at Brockley Cross. That way it'd be out of the reach of taggers/vandals, plus it would get rid of the roosting spots for all those oily-looking, discarded-Gulen-kebab-scoffing one-footed London pigeons that lurk there.

drakefell debaser said...

Talking about the evangelical? This is hilarious

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7818980.stm

Tressilliana said...

Funny idea of evidence that evangelical chap has.

However, for a good old belly laugh read this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7809160.stm

drakefell debaser said...

I love Bushisms, my personal favourite which wasn't included is:

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." —President George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

Brockley Kate said...

Section 106 agreements often include a requirement for public art, actually.

And I hate the new Goldsmiths building. It looks as though a child designed it with a load of leftover spaghetti. Horrible, hideous.

Headhunter said...

DD - Surely Christian Voice's complaint about that ad "There is probably no God" will not be upheld because they have used the word "probably".

Isn't that the reason Carling or Carlsberg or whoever was able to get away with their "probably the best lager in the world" line?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Tea leaf arts could come up with an animated installation showcasing the art they have available. At least it would be something tied, somewhat to Brockley rather than generic coloured illuminated circles.

Angus Deayton said...

Isn't that the reason Carling or Carlsberg or whoever was able to get away with their "probably the best lager in the world" line?

Yes, it was. Allegedly.

drakefell debaser said...

Yeah I would imagine that would be the case HH because it only casts reasonable doubt on the existence of a God and does not denounce God, I would also hope the ASA have better things to do than get involved.

It will be interesting to see if Christian Voice launches a counter ad with due ‘substantiation and truthfulness’ to prove otherwise.

Bill Hicks summed it up pretty well:

Okay I have just one word to ask you, a one word question, ready?

Uh huh

Dinosaurs

Tamsin said...

I agree with Kate about the Goldsmiths Building, wrecks the view from Jerningham Road. On public spirit lifting art, Goldsmiths were meant to be restoring the neon stick-man climbing a ladder when they bought the building and land from Pearce signs, but alas, nothing ever happened.

On underpass art - I love what has been done by Waterloo around the Imax theatre - the sparkly blue lights and that very evocative poem.

Brockley Kate said...

Re: underpass art, the tiling and paintings at Elephant & ?Castle surely deserve a mention! A friend of mine once said that they made much more sense once you've taken some hallucinogenic drugs, and I am happy to take his word for it.

Anonymous said...

I like the Goldsmiths building. Like all good art, art should provoke debate and clearly it has in this case. Saying that it looks like a child designed it with spaghetti though is a bone-headed comment.

Brockley Nick said...

I too like the Goldsmiths building. One of Alsop's better efforts and the spaghetti looks great at night in particular.

Brockley Kate said...

Well, thanks - I specialise in bone-headed comments. Nice to know I hit the target.

cabinet said...

It does look like spaghetti, nothing bone-headed about that Kate!

Anonymous said...

Yeah and that Jackson Pollack has just chucked a load of paint on the canvas - my two year old could have done that, and that shark in a tank from Damien Hirst, I could have thought of that, blah, blah, blah......

Anonymous said...

I love the Elephant and Castle underpass artwork. Nothing like the cheery face of Charlie Chaplin to make you smile as you walk around blind corners in fear of being stabbed.

Anonymous said...

It is sad how urban life is so bereft of any visual appeal, that we have people hankering after coloured circles to 'brighten' our area.

Anonymous said...

I know - its funny, coming from a rural part of England whenever someone tries to put up something like this there's always an outry at the cost vs. the benefit. Whereas Londoners will literally throw millions at any old tat - especially artisan tat.

Brockley Nick said...

The countryside can be bleak, dreary and often quite ugly. The city can offer stunning landscaped parks, beautiful buildings of every variety and great people watching.

It's not a simple town v country question, it's just a matter of cheering up grim spots. I'd say the outcry you often get in the countryside is more indicative of the mindset of the people, rather than the relative beauty of rural v urban landscapes.

Brockley Kate said...

I think you mean Jackson Pollock. Who I am quite a fan of, incidentally.

Headhunter said...

Absolutely! Since the onset of "industrial" arable farming over the last few decades and the enlargement of small "patchwork" style fields with made up the English countryside for generations into massive multi acre arable fields and the resulting clearance of historic and wildlife rich hedgerows and copses, the countryside is often very dull. This is often due to the increasing use of massive farm machinery which can literally plough and seed a multi acre field in 1 day.

The countryside in many places is pretty bleak and bereft of anything much. Especially at this time of year when the sky is leaden and these massive fields are like enormous brown deserts.

I cycle through the countryside of Kent every weekend along lanes which cut through these windswept fields.

Of course there are also very beautiful spots of Kent as there are interesting and beautiful urban areas.

jon s said...

"art should provoke debate"

That has to be the biggest cop out statement from all conceptual art types equal to "art is what makes you think". The current mess in Gaza provokes debate, is that art?

The purpose of art is to make life nicer and if it is particularly good it will have hidden depths that can further open peoples minds. The more efficient society is, the more art produced. Alas mostly of dubious quality and soon forgetten but some truly great.
Medici's = Michelangelo, Ducio, etc.
Elizabeth = Shakespeare
Northern Renaisance = Rembrandt
Now = ???????????

Btw. I like the spaghetti :)

Anonymous said...

Great art should and indeed does provoke debate. But not debate on whether it is actually art, because it will be contextualised.

Tamsin said...

Another controversial piece of art in Lewisham is the thing called, I think, "Waves" in Catford where the South Ciruclar crosses the A21 that looks like a giants large intestine isolated and preserved.

I think art should involve some skill, craft and/or sweat which putting a sheep in a tank of formaldahyde does not.

Highly amused once when a prestigious competition was acutally won by a child's drawing (some nine year old). To hear the verbal contortions of the organisers trying to justify themselves was killingly funny "Well, she did show an excellent choice of colours..."

Tamsin said...

And Kipling, of course, summed it up brilliantly 80 years ago...

http://www.kipling.org.uk/poems_conundrum.htm

echo said...

Why does something with the aim of brightening up a dingy corner have to have the label 'art' anyway?

What's wrong with 'decoration'? Surely that is a better term, since the straightforward aim of decoration is to make otherwise boring-looking things appear more interesting and attractive.

Hugh said...

Anonymous said...
Great art should and indeed does provoke debate. But not debate on whether it is actually art, because it will be contextualised.


What bollocks. No one who trots out these cliches ever justifies them. why should art provoke debate? You might as well say groceries should provoke debate. Or football. A lot of things can be enjoyed without 'provoking debate'.

Brockley Nick said...

Echo - spot on. Think of it like wrapping paper, rather than a painting.

Brockley Nick said...

Can we all tone down the potty talk please? Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hugh it's clear you're out of your depth here. Go back to talking about those things you refer to as "birds" sorry women.

Danja said...

"art should provoke debate"

That has to be the biggest cop out statement from all conceptual art types equal to "art is what makes you think". The current mess in Gaza provokes debate, is that art?


I tend to agree with the thrust of what you say there, but the Gaza comment is an awful logical fallacy. Crows are black, etc.

Headhunter said...

I don't think that art "should" provoke debate, it MAY provoke debate, but I don't think that's essential. As Echo says, what's wrong with simply looking pretty and brightening something up? I think art gets lost in a search for some bigger purpose these days...

BrockleyBiker said...

The Goldsmiths art is more Tagliatelle than Spaghetti.

Anonymous said...

The Gaza comment is arse about face. No one mentioned that anything that provokes debate qualifies as art, simply that art should provoke debate.

drakefell debaser said...

What about something like the wall murals by Speedicars and the MOT centre?

There is space for a large one running from Dukes downwards for example – possibly continuing the theme of what is on Shardeloes Rd, with a similar thing on Mantle Rd although the latter has less space.

It’s not every ones cup of tea admittedly but, what ever does go there is not going to be appreciated by everyone.

Hugh said...

Danja, what's the difference between an awful logical fallacy and a fallacy?

Anonymous said...

It's not that great art should provoke debate it's that it does, by it's in part what contributes to its greatness. It's pretty obvious that many of you don't really understand what is being said, the nuance of it.

max said...

"Why does something with the aim of brightening up a dingy corner have to have the label 'art' anyway?

What's wrong with 'decoration'?"

What's wrong with this is that decoration "is"art, or better "can be" art because as these dots clearly explain it can also be as boring as that. And there's a difference between making art that's somehow safe and doesn't want to make big controversial statements but is still good artistic craft and boring decorative filler that barely qualifies as pseudo-art.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear, thanks Max.

jon s said...

The comment about Gaza is not a fallacy as it is a question not a statement.

Its purpose was achieved, raising the discussion of what art is and what it is for.

Aisle Ike said...

I don't know much about art, but I know what...etc

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

anymore thought provoking questions Jon?

Anonymous said...

Please delete that moronic Gaza comment too, cos I find that highly inflammatory and disrespectful.

Brockley Nick said...

I don't understand why it should cause offence? The point being made was that not everything that provokes debate is art (I am neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the point) - the reference to Gaza was incidental - it could have been AIDS or the economy, etc.

Please can you explain why it's offensive? If I've missed something, I will be happy to take action.

Danja said...

All sorts of fallacies, Hugh, not just in logic. In logic, affirming the consequent is a pretty grave one. OK?

Anonymous said...

If you are not aware Nick, there censorship on the major news sites, Times, Daily Mail, on the comments section and on Youtube, perhaps in response to anticipated anti-semitism, but even mild comments sympathasing with the suffering of the residents of Gaza and critising Israel for the use of phosphorous munitios is bing deleted on not getting through the censorship net.

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