Behind the picture: Why does it always rain on me?
This weekend art lovers in London have an exciting new exhibition to experience. The new show is either one of the best art installations ever or the worst idea since Piero Manzoni decided to buy some cans.
Given the typically grey and gloomy weather forecast for the UK’s capital, anyone visiting the Barbican Gallery’s new show may struggle to notice the difference between the installation and the streets outside.
That’s because the exhibit recreates a typical autumnal day in London, employing 2500 litres of water to create: The Rain Room. Yes, you read that right - a gallery in London has created a room where it never stops raining.
Now this would be a novelty in Death Valley or Abu Dhabi, but smack bang in the centre of one of the rainiest cities in Europe, it’s hardly a revelation.
I lived in London for more than a decade and loved almost every minute, but the moments I didn’t enjoy usually involved rain.
Weak and unrelenting, London rain is a pain in the ass.
During a short spell living in Sydney ten years ago I was amazed at the biblical power of her rainstorms.
I was even more surprised to discover that at 1217mm a year on average, Sydney has double London’s rather paltry 591mm.
Don’t even get me started on my wonderful two years in Far North Queensland.
In the tropics I enjoyed 330mm of rain in one VERY #BigWet DAY earlier this year.
Australia’s rain is like the rest of Australia’s weather: big and exciting.
London’s rain is just crappy, unrelenting drizzle, like an annoying kid bugging you with a plastic plant spray.
Being enveloped by this saturating mist gradually eats into an optimistic man’s soul: which is part of the reason I now live in sunny Sydney.
The twist at the Barbican is that as you walk underneath the Rain Room’s deluge it magically senses your presence, so you feel a little like Moses parting the Red Sea before you surface in the gallery shop dry as an Arnotts Sayo Biscuit.
Which I guess is kind of cool: except as soon as you go outside you’re getting wet anyway.
Art eh? Whatever will they think of next?
Simon Crerar is News Limited’s Visual Story Editor. Follow Simon on Twitter
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