Art in the Arches

Art in the Arches

Covid has given retail a right royal kicking. With people stuck at home, many have swapped their shopping habits from the high street to the internet. Where Amazon and the rest have benefited, shops from Debenhams to our local gift shop Max & Melia are shuttering. Take a walk through the City of London and you’ll see a retail graveyard. Even Piccadilly, in the heart of the West End, has space to rent.

Picture by Thomas Kirk Shannon

Unfortunately, the same is true in our neighbourhood. Vauxhall styles itself as The Vibrant Place though some of its vibrancy has washed away as shops and restaurants close. The same is true of empty railway arches at Vauxhall Cross. To be fair two places I always liked, Counter Vauxhall Bar and Brasserie and the motorbike shop Metropolis, closed before the pandemic took hold.

Picture by Roxanne Dewar (Bucket and I thought this was the best)

Vauxhall One, the local business improvement district, does huge amounts to keep Vauxhall clean and green and they commissioned a series of murals to paper over the empty spaces.

Not art, just me and Bucket having a snoop

The artists have done a great job, but in many ways I’m ambivalent about the whole project. The pictures brighten up the place but I’d far rather there were thriving businesses in their place.

Picture by Luke Embden

For art we can go to the Damien Hirst Gallery on Newport Street or Tate Britain just over the river.

But don’t let me put you off, take a stroll to Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, and look at what the artists have achieved. Some of the paintings are exquisite.

Picture by Leila Vibert Stokes

Here are the artists along with their Instagram links

Mr Penfold (Tim Gresham)

Luke Smile, a typographic artist

Susheel Basra, graphic designer

Illustrator Roxane Dewar

Italian artist and illustrator Gianinna Delpino

Botanical print designer Leila Vibert Stokes

Collage designer and animator Flavia Felipe

Graphic designer Craig Yamey

Muralist, illustrator and self-professed doodler Luke Embden

Artist and graphic designer NERONE

Thomas Kirk Shannon, VAULT Creative Arts

The featured image at the top is by Gianinna Delpino

2 thoughts on “Art in the Arches

  1. Fabulous!
    Brighten up a space = brighten up people’s lives = they stop to linger = they consider buying a local snack or drink = makes small businesses consider there may be a viable customer base for them.
    Dirty, unwelcoming space = no-one stops = no purchasing = no customer base.

    Liked by 1 person

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