This fence of trinkets has slowly grown over the past few months. Starting with a handful of padlocks bearing lovers’ declarations, it now includes yarn-based ornaments and even a scrawled-on banana skin.
The barricade of baubles follows in a long tradition of anonymous public creativity. Crossbones graveyard in Southwark has long borne an ever-renewed tribute of tied-up ribbons and flowers to remember the many unfortunates buried within, while the now defunct skateboard graveyard on the Golden Jubilee Bridge was assembled piecemeal by London’s skaters. Most recently, a wall in Peckham was decorated with peace messages and endorsements for the area, following the trauma of last summer’s riots. And the Millennium Bridge has also enjoyed its share of guerilla padlocking.
The Shoreditch love fence is still a nascent phenomena, with a long way to go before it reaches the glories of Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris, and other examples around Europe. But next time you’re passing by, consider contributing to this emerging phenomenon.