London Life Places

southbank as inspiration

May 29, 2012

This post was inspired by 2 charming male bloggers. James balston, interior photographer extraordinaire, who shot my flat for heart home magazine and the lovely gerard mcguickin (affectionately named mr. grey) of walnut grey design, a design writer and interior stylists who i’m scheduled to meet, for the first time, later on next month. Both champion the aesthetics and have rather stylish blogs.

I was at the southbank centre last week and forgot what mish mash of concrete buildings, restaurants and public spaces all fight for attention. It’s a visual mayem. On closer inspection, i was amazed at all the changes that had taken place and it really looked very colourful, vibrant and rather funky. Visual mayem can be good, right?

The sun was slowly setting as i walked around, camera in hand. My first thought was to capture some of the buildings but sure enough i went for colour, patterns and interesting temporary objects and pop-up huts instead. No surprise there!

If you’re after beautifully shot buildings and interiors i urge you to take a look at both james and gerard’s blogs. You won’t be disappointed. These guys do it with style and panache.

If you’re after tina style photography, stay right here. I hope you find something of interest and i can inspire you in my own little way. How’s your week going?

I see you back here on friday, just before the long bank holiday where i’ll hopefully get a chance to go to some of the diamond jubilee festivities in order to share it with you here on my blog. Have a good rest of the week people.

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  • Reply Igor May 29, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Hey Tina, this is very cool, indeed. I must schedule a trip to London anytime soon. I have to catch up with this amazing city and you creative folks!! Cheers from Munich, Igor

    • Reply Gerard McGuickin May 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Hey Igor… make sure you do say hi when you’re next in London. We can have a blogtastic blowout! xx

    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 5:45 am

      We’re all waiting for you:)

  • Reply Holly May 29, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Ooooh! Images 3, 4, and 5 have sucked me right in. So glad you inspected closer and found such excitement among the miss mash of concrete.

    My week is going ok. Normal. Not complaining 🙂

    Happy rest of the week to you too. Until Friday Xx.

    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 5:46 am

      Thank you Holly. These were also my favourite images.
      Hope the week is panning out to be creative and fruitful.

      Miss you. X

  • Reply Gerard McGuickin May 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hi Tina darlin’. Thanks so much for the mention! Southbank with all of its eccentricities is a great place for inspiration, especially in the evening light. I love its concrete madness and that almost futuristic state. Great visuals, esp. the brick wall and bluish light 🙂 xx

    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 5:47 am

      Pleasure darlin. Really looking forward to a big hug x

  • Reply Lauren May 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    You know I love all that industrial photography, even though it’s not what my own camera is generally drawn too. These images are so beautiful. Sometimes stark, but beautiful still.

    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 5:49 am

      Well, am not sure my camera is often drawn to it too but sometimes needs must.

      London does industrial really well:)

  • Reply Erin May 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    I love the colorblocking with the teal slats of wood and the dark gray brick. So intense! I love the hot magenta brick, too. Clearly I’m on a brick kick (unintentional rhyme!) this morning. Visual mayhem can definitely be good…in small doses for me. Haha.

    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 5:50 am

      Yes of course, the white queen. I’m glad some of these images did stir something in you:)

  • Reply James Balston May 29, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Love the Southbank, and so glad it has survived in all its concrete glory despite periods of being deeply unfashionable, and several attempts to “improve’ it, or even redevelop it entirely. Today it really seems to have grown into the place it was always meant to be. Love your shots too!

    Thanks enormously Tina for your kind words and link. Much appreciated as ever.


    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 5:58 am

      James, so well articulated. That’s exactly how I felt but didn’t quite manage to be so eloquent about it.

      There were times when the South Bank was such an eye sore (bit like parts of the Barbican) that it was really dreary and uninspiring. Somehow they managed to pull it together. The brilliant lighting effect they implemented a few years ago was the beginning of ‘pulling it together’ and today I feel it reflects what London is all about, an interesting melting pot of diverse cultures and eclectic vibrancy. x

  • Reply Theresa May 30, 2012 at 2:56 am

    As always, your photos are visually stimulating. What you do – getting out into your city and capturing these bits of color – are definitely inspiring.
    The week is off to a good start. It’s a short week for us and it seems summer has officially started in these parts.
    Make it a great week, Tina. No doubt it will be filled with inspiring things.

    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 6:01 am

      I hope you had a great break and feel invigorated.

      I’ve always said that if I ever don’t make use of the amazing possibilities London has to offer me then it’s time to leave. I have a feeling that might not happen in the near future. I never tire of this amazing city and feel proud of living here.

  • Reply Chi@106 May 30, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Ah, Tina you certainly know the way to my heart! I love your vibrant, abstract shots – especially 1-5: stunning! 😀

    James and Gerard are indeed talented but its your fresh perspective and your keen eye for the little details that that keep me coming back for more.

    My week has been quite intense – I’m trying to get stuff done so that I can have a relaxing Jubilee weekend. Friday? It’s a date! 😉 xoxo

    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 6:07 am

      I was trying to show diversity of styles and how we all interpret things differently. That’s what makes creative endeavours so fascinating. Every single person has a different take on the same subjct.

      In my course with John Allen, I used to love the projects where all students had to take the same initial source and see what results we all came up with. You wouldn’t believe the differences. Totally amazing!

      I can’t wait for the long weekend. I am desparate for a proper rest. Still recovering from Berlin:)

  • Reply annie May 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    I can never get over how the southbank has been transformed. To me it was that grotty scary place in Prime Suspect. I would never walk there at night but it’s so different there, really buzzy and fun.

    Gerard is even more obsessed with the Shard than me! He’s great on instragram too. Always posting loads of pictures from Bermondsey Street and making me miss my old home 🙁

    I’m with Chi, I like your photos for the unusual angles and colours.

    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 6:12 am

      It was a rather depressing place for a long while and I remember going to concerts/ theatre plays and the BFI cinema and wanting to escape straight after. Slowly but surely it has transformed into a place you at least wanted to have something to eat or drink to now a place you want to hang out in both internally and externally. It’s been an honour to observe the transformation.

      Graham and you and the Shard. You guys often make me want to shout: stop already!!!!

      Thanks Annie.

  • Reply Nicola May 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Bermondsey’s my old home & I miss it too.

    Love your photos of the South Bank. I took a time to come to terms with painting over the concrete because I love the timber shuttering marks. However, painting the stairs in bright colours does help the circulation and finding your way about.

    Did you come across the garden on the roof? That was a surprise for me recently x

    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 6:19 am

      Another ex – Bermondsey girl.

      I know what you mean but sometimes, drastic measures need to be taken. They made the right choice in very difficult circumstances. As an analogy, when I did my own flat I hated the bathroom but ran out of budget. Painting it in coloured stripes was the best and most economical solution. Today I love it more for that reason. Sometimes the unexpected is inspiring!

      Yes, the garden is great…. I find everything about the complex really invigorating. They managed to instil life into a concrete jungle. Not an easy thing to do. A job very well done!!!

  • Reply Sam Lennie May 31, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I’m not a South Bank girl, up the North!!

    Your images are great as ever. No.10 is my fav, bold and gritty. I’m gonna have to go have a look. It’s occurred to me that in the blogsphere, you provide the industrial buildings and city architecture whereas I’m always posting pretty flowers, grass and countryside. Such a fun contrast.

    Your Rolodex must be bursting at the seams Ms. Bernstein, you are the queen of networking. Good on you lady. I too am fascinated by Gerard’s fascination with the Shard. Thanks to him I’ve seen it at every possible angle (well apart from looking down from the top of it). Hope you are having a welcome breather from the 30 DC before BYW xx

    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Yeah, I liked 10…
      That Shard, seriously…. hopefully both Gerard and Annie can go to the top and be done with it…

      Exhausted after 30DC and straight into BYW2.0…. can’t wait for the long weekend:)

  • Reply Toni May 31, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    As you know I’m a lover of most thing grey so it’s hardly surprising that I’ve always appreciated the harsh concrete architectures at the Southbank! I’ve never found them pretty though but your photography have made them just that, pretty and basking in colour – love it!

    • Reply tina May 31, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Not pretty but they look much softer with the lights. Maybe you should visit at nights….it does look pretty!
      See you in class!

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