Better Bankside has announced the launch of its inaugural modern day ‘Frost Fair’ – a homage to the area’s unique history, celebrating the characters and fascinating stories from past winters in the Southwark borough.
Between 1605 and 1814, the surface of the River Thames froze over 24 times, bringing all trade on the water to a standstill. The people of Bankside turned catastrophe into opportunity, creating pleasure grounds known as the ‘Frost Fair’, hosting markets, selling food and drink, organising gambling and games on the ice, and guiding tourists across the frozen water.
Inspired by the area’s rich heritage and its lively characters, from 1 December 2022 – 31 January 2023, Bankside will be reinventing these strange happenings, through a series of innovative augmented reality (AR) installations, street art murals, animations, cinematic film and AI collaborative digital art, located throughout the area, as well as events, workshops and food & drink experiences.
Bankside’s Frost Fair will officially launch at 18.14 on Thursday 1 December, with the revealing of the spectacular moving image and AR enlivened artworks that reference one of the Frost Fairs strangest tales. Legend has it that when the Thames last froze over in 1814, an elephant was walked across the ice , adding an unforgettable spectacle to the Frost Fair.
Visitors to the event will also be able to relive scenes from these historical winters and reveal layers of information about the Frost Fair, the artists and their inspiration behind the artworks through the use of AR on their phones, via the Graffio Arts app whilst also accessing Frost Fair inspired food and drink promotions at Bankside’s many restaurants and bars.
A specially curated street art trail will be revealed in the borough on Thursday 1 December where visitors will find murals displaying historical scenes and modern interpretations of the Frost Fair fromrenowned street artists Mr Cenz, Dreph, Nomad Clan and Peachzz.
Cutting edge digital animation (Everfresh), cinematic film (Julia Fullerton-Batten) and an AI generated moving image piece (Jason Slabber) will complement the street art murals in the area.
Meanwhile, guided tours will take place throughout December and January where people can discover more about the games, events and markets that took place on the river in these icy winters.
Bankside businesses will also be creating Frost Fair inspired menu items and food & drink experiences, hosting themed club and music nights, workshops and events with donations going towards supporting local homeless charity The Manna Society.
Events will be regularly added to the official Frost Fair programme which can be found at https://banksidelondon.co.uk/events/frostfair
Bankside’s Frost Fair is being delivered through a neighbourhood partnership between Better Bankside, Borough Market, The Venue Group, Borough Yards, Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside Yards, Fabrixa and Uber Boats by Thames Clipper, and supported by The Africa Centre, Union Street Arches, Hilton Bankside, KBH Group & SMP (Print division), with more to be announced.
For more information about Frost Fair, visit: https://banksidelondon.co.uk/events/frostfair
For more information, please contact the Better Bankside team at Barley Communications:
Katie Raby | email@example.com | 07896 533547
Habiba Paracha | firstname.lastname@example.org | 07837 702917
Notes to Editors
About Better Bankside
Powered by the people of Bankside, Better Bankside leads innovative economic, environmental and social action in one of the world’s great neighbourhoods, responding inventively to urban challenges and celebrating the differences that define the area as London’s Other Side. By co-creating a programme with Banksiders, Better Bankside brings benefits to businesses and Banksiders, improving the experience of the neighbourhood for everyone.
Better Bankside was one of the first Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in the country, established in 2005. The Bankside BID covers the area from the riverside in the north to Borough Station and along Great Suffolk Street in the south. It extends to Blackfriars Road and Hatfields in the west, and stretches east beyond Borough High Street to Trinity Street. Visit betterbankside.co.uk for more information.
Nomad Clan is the collective of Cbloxx and AYLO, an internationally-acclaimed, street art muralist duo with bases in Los Angles, U.S.A, and Manchester, UK.
The power and pathos in their muralism and fine art showcase both the craft and social awareness of cultural flux for which they are known. Although primarily recognised for their iconic monumental street murals around the world they are no stranger to installations and studio based works.
Through years of collaboration Nomad Clan have fine-tuned their artistic fusion that delivers an unmistakable style. Each mural has a strong significance to the environment it sits in. The main focus of the work is to proudly celebrate local history, folklore and heritage but on a deeper level often contains the socioeconomic issues affecting the area, for example the demise of the fishing industry, environmental awareness, the plight of refugees & migration, closures of mills and lack of jobs, inner city social deprivation and other politicized topics. NC’s extensive muralism has given them insight into less publicized global issues, whether out in the desert wastelands of California exploring largely abandoned towns, running creative projects in Flint during the water crisis or working out in refugee camps in Calais, each experience creeps into studio work and muralism alike and with this fusion of past and present the viewer is invited to explore, compare and contrast.
Nomad Clan have been noted as ‘One of street art’s finest duos’ by Widewalls magazine the world’s largest street art online publication, as well as ‘Street arts hottest UK talent’ by Global Street Art and pegged as one of the top 5 street artists in the world by The Guardian NewsPaper.
Mr Cenz has been scribbling on surfaces since 1988 when he first discovered hip-hop culture and graffiti art. He soon became obsessed with this new and exciting art form and after a few brushes with the law he decided to find ways of developing his skills legally. Since his first commissioned mural at 11yrs old he has continued progressing and experimenting with his art through college and University. This has led to a career as a professional graffiti artist with several solo shows and high-profile commissions internationally.
His distinctive work can currently be seen all over the streets of the world, especially in his hometown of London. It features layers of intricate and flowing letterforms, shapes and line work, which are abstracted in a unique and aesthetically pleasing way. His style is full of funk and movement and fuses different skills together such as photorealism, illustration and graffiti letterforms. His work is open to individual interpretation and has been described as “surrealist graffiti art for the soul”. He works hard to make sure each piece he creates is very individual and distinctive in its quality. His influences range from the old school graffiti artists that inspired him as a kid such as Dondi and Mode 2 to abstract expressionist painters like Paul Klee and Roger Hilton.
His new work focuses on female faces, which he distorts in his trademark style. He works from portrait and fashion photographs to create unique interpretations of strong and spiritual women, which are abstracted in a spontaneous and freestyle way to create interesting and mysterious compositions. Theses pieces are a melting pot of all the different influences and technical skills he has acquired over the years.
Peachzz found street art in Sheffield’s abandoned industries, allowing her to splash paint over forgotten walls. Her work typically looks at nature and life contrasting with the concrete structures of urban spaces. She is a painter of large-scale walls, her style is expressive, and she is constantly experimenting with a bold colour palette.
Peachzz has travelled with her work all over Europe and has painted as far as Colombia & Mexico. She has worked with people/companies such as UPS, NME, ITV, The British Council, Avanti West Coast & The Wildlife Trust and has recently completed a portrait grant with the arts council.
Neequaye Dreph Dsane is a visual artist working across a wide range of media. With a focus on portraiture and painting the human figure, Dreph’s subjects are everyday people, friends, family or those he meets whilst painting in the streets. With exploration of color and an attention to sartorial detail, he uses his work to tell his subjects stories.
He is inspired, as much by 80s British sci-fi comics and New York subway art, as he is the old masters. Dreph is passionate about the cultural and creative exchange that can be shared whilst traveling and this has profoundly informed his practice. After 3 decades of street based painting, Dreph’s work can be found in Asia, Africa, the UAE, Central, South and North America and throughout Europe.
Dreph is an Illustration lecturer at Portsmouth University. He lives and works in London
Digital animation artist.
Sebastian Pfeifer aka Everfresh is an award-winning digital animation artist, with a background in graphics and motion graphics design and a strong passion for fluid motion and smooth beats. His colourful, whimsical works are mostly defined by his music, which he produces specifically for his animation loops before he even starts actually animating, to make sure every movement will be wrapped into a warm musical blanket. Influenced by visual and sound aesthetics of the 70s as well as contemporary digital art, his surrealistic animations take you into an immersive world of smooth transitions and continuous fluidity.
Visual FX artist
Jason Slabber is a Visual FX artist & Technical Director with 24 years experience in the post-production industry. With an education in fine art and design he started out his career in the print industry, but with a keen interest in digital media he transitioned into the VFX industry. Jason is Head of Design for a South African VFX facility where he specializes in CG lighting and FX simulations. In the last year he has taken an interest in generating AI driven imagery.
Photographer & film maker
Julia Fullerton-Batten is a fine-art photographer renowned for her highly cinematic visual story-telling. Her large-scale projects are based around specific themes. Each image in the project embellishes her subject matter in a series of thought-provoking narrative ‘stories’ using staged tableaux and sophisticated lighting techniques.
Julia’s use of unusual locations, highly creative settings, street-cast models, accented with cinematic lighting are hallmarks of her style. She insinuates visual tensions in her images and imbues them with a mystique that teases the viewer into continually re-examining the picture; something new coming to the fore each time.
Her fine-art work is globally renowned and exhibited. She has won countless awards worldwide, is frequently portrayed in photographic journals, has published two books, is a Hasselblad Ambassador and a frequent speaker at international workshops and a juror of international competitions. Her images are on the front covers of ‘A Guide to Collecting Contemporary Photography’. She has a permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery, Musee de l’Elysee, Lausanne and the Parliamentary Art Collection, Houses of Parliament.
Graffio Arts are Steve Barradell and Guy Boyle. They like to solve creative problems and are experienced at moving across disciplines to find the right solution for the right situation. They founded and run the Institute Research Lab, fostering digital talent and businesses and utilise AR in their own work to enliven high streets and destinations with curated art and place focussed narratives.