It doesn’t matter if you hate art or know nothing about it, if you are in London you would have heard about The Rain Room at The Barbican Centre.
This unusual, interactive art installation is exactly what it says on the tin– A room of rain. In it’s opening week my news feed was flooded with pictures of my friends being rained on. My first thought was “How on earth does this appeal to anybody??” I personally despise the rain, the first drop I feel sends me running for cover screaming and attempting to shield my straightened barnet with my arms. It’s tough being a woman.
Then I heard about the queues. These outrageously long queues of people dying to be rained on. Now this is England and rain is a daily occurrence, so why were so many people QUEUEING for this experience?! Surely they were rained on all the way to The Barbican. Well it had sparked my curiosity and all of a sudden I felt drawn to this room containing my worst nightmare.
My sidekick Luiza suggested we go and how could I decline? She had also heard about these theme park like queue times so we set off early and arrived at 11am. The line of 30 art students standing before us didn’t look too bad. One hour later we were still there, sitting on the floor and starving because one must be considerably wealthy to consider anything from The Barbican’s cafe. Another 40 photography students had joined the queue behind us, also weeping over the £5 sandwiches.
Once inside I instantly realised why it had been so successful. There is something about watching a torrential downpour in such a contained space that I just can’t explain, it’s fascinating. Even the sound of it is calming and therapeutic. My hatred for rain rapidly diminished and I felt inclined to run into it and jump around like a kid. Whilst taking 101 photos we were approached by a steward who told us that if we walked into the rain slowly we wouldn’t get wet. I raised an eye brow at her wondering what planet she had descended from.
I walked into the rain wincing in anticipation.. But I wasn’t getting a drop on me. I looked back to see that it was raining all around me, apart from where I was stood no rain was falling. And then it clicked, why people were so fascinated with what I imagined to be such a rubbish concept, it gives you a chance to control the rain. I proceeded to walk around in circles grinning to myself, which would look weird had there of not been 5 other people doing exactly the same thing. Lu and I took a load of goofy and ‘arty’ photos before leaving with our hair fully in-tact.
I really enjoyed the entire 15 minutes I spent in The Rain Room. Be sure to catch it before the installation’s end date of March 3rd. Also be sure to follow my..
Queue survival guide:
- Food & Water purchased somewhere else unless you want to make up for the fact that this installation is free.
- A nice comfy bag or coat to sit on – Remove all camera lenses first.
- An addictive iphone game such as ‘HayDay’ which will eat up hours of your life with ease.
- An open mind. Yes this is totally worth the wait, you are about to be rained on.
The Barbican Centre is Europe’s largest multi-arts venue including theatre and music. Take a look at The Barbican website to view their packed out calendar, listing free and paid events.Running until: March 3rd 2013 Cost: Free admission Where: Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London , EC2Y 8DS Nearest station: Barbican Undergroud Station (Zone 1, Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith line). 5 minute walk down Beech Street. Want to see more of The Rain Room? Check out my Pintrest or Facebook . You can also find me on Twitter. Have any questions or suggestions on where I should go next? Leave a comment!