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So, my friend and I went to Leake Street today... also known as the Banksy Tunnel... Two years ago, Banksy transformed the tunnel with his graffiti (like the one below), and encouraged others to do so... The tunnel was part of a cans festival, and now is a public legal graffiti tunnel.
~~~LOCATION AND ACCESS~~~
The tunnel is just around the corner from Waterloo Station, around a five minute walk. You will pass the London Eye, so it is basically on South Bank. There are also buses on that road, so be sure to check.
~~~THE TUNNEL ITSELF~~~
The tunnel is rather long, and there is graffiti everywhere; on the walls, on the railings, on the floor, even on the lights. Although the graffiti was mainly tags and names, there are a few that are images- quite a few Homer Simpsons XD and some that really show care and effort.
I think it would've been amazing to have seen Banksy's original work at the tunnel, but since then obviously have been painted over- HOW DARE THEY!- but I think its great that people have a space they can express themselves and run wild with colour, ideas and creativity.
The whole tunnel, full of colour and hundreds of different peoples' creations, really make you think how a space could connect so many people. And for the thousands of people who travel through the tunnel on a daily basis, how they could be spoken to through the artwork- so many voices, ideas and expressions written on the walls- I tried to take it all in...
I was also lucky to witness a few people graffiti-ing which was cool- the time and effort they spend... and also saw some sort of photoshoot taking place around the corner- appeared professional, but knew none of the people involved- it was rather small... oh well...
It was definitely an interesting place to be- a place where you could go free for all and just express yourself- although the whole space is pretty much full of graffiti, the idea of painting over makes this tunnel one that evolves and really changes over time. If I had a paint can, a crayon, or even a marker pen, I know I would've left my mark.