Street spots as a canvas for creativity
After speaking to the skate community to find out about the most iconic street spots we soon had a long list of locations to visit from Kensington Town Hall to Euston train station. First we stopped off at Kensington Town Hall, a beautiful example of 1970’s British brutalism designed by Sir Basil Spence. With similarities to the Barbican estate the brown bricks create sharp, dramatic angles ideal for street skating, featured in endless skate videos the steep banks create a challenge for the most advanced of skateboarder. With obviously no intention Sir Basil Spence designed a space made for skateboarding, an accidental dual multipurpose zone that allows for one to become a genuine Poetic Terrorist.
Kensington Town Hall spot
English architectural historian, Iain Borden (UCL, Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture) notably remarked upon that fact that street skating needs to stop being considered child’s play but more so considered as a significant unique contribution to urban culture over the past 40 years. The next spot at Euston station couldn’t be further from child’s play, a sheer glazed black marble bank renowned for taking many a victim to injury. Situated on a bustling high road, this is a proving ground for the most technical of skaters but also similarly for their photographer. With often very little time to skate due to high levels of security patrolling the area this spot is quintessentially London.
Euston station spot
Euston station spot
Choosing your spot to skate requires more than just Google Maps; you need time and preparation on your side. Selecting what trick will work requires true artistic intention and the execution relies on skill, technical ability and in some cases, sheer luck. We continued on our concrete odyssey stopping off at the infamous ‘London Bridge 10 stair’ and ‘Pimlico double stairs’, where I spoke to Charlie – a semi-professional skateboarder at the 10 stair – to see the process behind the trick.
London Bridge ’10 Stair’
Pimlico ‘Double Stairs’
“This is the third time I have come here this week; it’s been blood sweat and tears. I still haven’t got my head round this spot; the pressure is so intense here as the footfall is so high. You end up becoming a bit of street performance of pain, it’s a bit gnarly but I just want to get this trick so bad. The way the stairs look on camera make it look really dramatic and towering, I’m going to get it one day soon for sure”.
Whilst some art requires some form of previous emotional pain or trauma street skating combines more physical pain that most other forms, a true sacrifice made by the Poet Terrorist.