Posted on July 24 2015
Hidden in plain sight beneath the tracks of Waterloo station and in the shadow of the London Eye is a street artist's dream. This dimly lit underpass, formally known as Leake Street Tunnel, but also going by Banksy Tunnel and Graffiti Tunnel, isn't a typical tourist sight and definitely isn't a stop on the double-decker bus tour, but it was by far the coolest thing I saw in London.
In May, 2008, renowned street artist, Banksy, organized the first Cans Festival, inviting 29 graffiti artists to showcase their works in an effort to 'transform a dark forgotten filth pit into an oasis of beautiful art’. He kept the location a secret until its unveiling, and since then, it has become a playground for anyone with a can of spray paint to come and add to.
Today, the tunnel is an authorized graffiti zone with street art is legally permitted and even encouraged. Given this status, the canvas backdrop is constantly changing and a piece of work may only last for a few days. Unfortunately, it is thought that all of Banksy's work has been covered at this point, but if you visit keep on the lookout because you never know what you might find.