Shooting A Tiger and other stories of the Elephant and Castle Subways

Cecilia Wee

Subway 2 - Leisure Centre to South Central

Key: an older brother with that same demeanour as the boy at a guest house in Dun Laoghaire, confidence, London Park Hotel, side street sweetshop, signage, upturned trees in the Field of Hope, yellow float

Subway 4 - Shopping Centre to Leisure Centre

Key: avoiding accidental theft, Boots, doughnut jokes told by a Margaret Thatcher clone recently woken from cryogenic freezing, heavy metal magazines, jewellery that must have been sold eventually, truancy

Subway 6 - Pizzeria Castello to Bowling Alley

Key: the aquarium shop, de-pedestrianisation, grotto-like décor, nights at Pizzeria Castello, once grey tiled walls, pebbledash approach, sense of quiet like having double glazing, talking about fashion on meeting Soona

Subway 8 - Tabernacle to Shopping Centre

Key: borrowing certificate 15 music videos, Bus Route 171, call girl cards in the telephone boxes, days before pagers, days after being ostracised, IRA bomb alert, Millennium, waiting until my patience turns to immobility

Subway 10 - The Elephant and Castle St. Georges Way Subway (TfL)

Key: the carnivalesque (by David Bratby), dancing with the right foot, the heavy bunch of keys to Design Photo, London College of Printing 'drink the bar dry', my unrequited love runs away from the bus stop, orange juice makes me itch

Subway 12 - The Elephant and Castle London Road Subway (TfL)

Key: lost tourists, lost minutes, traffic that got Tracy run over, vertiginous 6 floor buildings, walking away as they board the bus home to ignore the Summertime park scene

Subway 14 - The Elephant and Castle Newington Causeway Subway (TfL)

Key: David's asymmetric Bakerloo line coloured mosaic, ecstasy of the photo shoot, journey to Kent, lighting bottles from under the table, the meaning of graphics, miniature model kitchens

Subway 16 - The Elephant and Castle New Kent Road Subway (TfL)

Key: the Ayurvedic company, Metro Central Heights, resuscitation of the previously abandoned, wishing we were on Cheyne Walk, worthlessness of culture

Subway 18 - The Elephant and Castle Island Subway North (TfL)

Key: aspirational histories of 'island theory', a metallic protective summit, self-contained micro-climate, shimmering shell of the Faraday memorial, subverting the fantastical

Subway 20 - The Elephant and Castle Island Subway South (TfL)

Key: chicken sandwiches for £1.20 from Castle Sandwich Bar Restaurant, DHS office, stairs that I dare not look up for fear of asbestos, toilets where we used to change out of school uniform

Shooting A Tiger is a walk through the subways of Elephant & Castle, which are soon to be demolished in the large-scale redevelopment plan for the area. The piece weaves together stories of local buildings, visiting my dad who worked in the Design Photography Department of London College of Communications for about 30 years, transport mishaps, UK politics, not-quite-romances and wildlife through the blurry lens of my (teen) memory.

All photos by Joseph and Cecilia Wee

Cecilia Wee co-directs the inter-art series Rational Rec, and has been making programmes for Resonance FM since 2002 (including 'Art and War', 'Brutal Aesthetics' and 'Salon or Seminar'). Cecilia is writing her DPhil on performance art documentation at Sussex University and occasionally presents work in a contemporary art setting. For more information see: