We first spotted this fruity obsession back in June, and we’re pleased to see it graduate to an exhibition of true London randomness, London Banana: A show of 1000 portraits of banana skins discarded in London’s urban environment. The project www.londonbananas.com has documented nearly 2,000 lonely banana skins on our streets, making us feel much less self-conscious about being a website of London geeks.
The collection came about after artist, Astrid Bin, noticed the generous amounts of banana skins us naughty Londoners deposited in our fair streets, and began recording their final destinations. Forlorn and blackened or freshly deposited they splay over bins, slump on beer bottles and fag boxes, tuck under London Papers, slip under bus seats and trip over traffic cones - in essence they look a lot like the end of night casualties we’ve all seen and been. Bin has captured not just the fruit but the varied streets, people and seasons surrounding them. Whether you think they’re a comment on our disregard for our city, our diet habits or just a slapstick moment waiting to happen, it’s a good reminder to look around and notice the little things.
After gathering global attention from the likes of the US's ‘Directory of Wonderful Things’ Boing Boing, Bin’s bananas are now on show at Shoreditch’s Austin Gallery from January 8th-22nd. We popped down to their underground gallery room, a floor to ceiling celebration of bananas and London to see some of the pictures for ourselves and grab a word with the creator. Commenting on our throwaway love affair with Britain’s favourite fruit, Bin said “It’s about a lot of things: the magic all around us; our eating habits; the textures and colours that belong to London; our use of public spaces; the places in the urban environment where no-one goes things that don’t seem to matter or make sense but are beautiful anyway”
Worth popping down to remember to look for the beauty in our city, for a bit of ‘guess the street’, or even just to make you look at litter differently next time you spot a 'nana skin.
Details of London Banana exhibition.
Image courtesy of Astrid Bin under Creative Commons licence.