London Life

Art-filled Sunday: Rain Room at the Barbican and Light Show at the Hayward Gallery

Why hello again. It’s been a while since we’ve talked, and I must say: you’re looking mighty fine!

Yesterday I spent the day checking out art in London – first the Rain Room at the Barbican, then the Light Show at the Southbank Centre’s Hayward Gallery.

The Rain Room

The Rain Room

Just like it’s name, the Rain Room does what is says on the tin – it’s a room that rains. However, the creators, Random International, have rigged it so the rain stops as visitors walk though, forcing you to put your trust in the work.

And while it does stop as you walk through, you can ‘trick’ the work into raining on you – such as by walking quickly or dressing in dark colours. I was unfortunate enough to be wearing my black jacket and I have dark hair, so I got rained on. I stuck near my friend with blonde hair in order to stay dry.

The Rain Room is free and open until 3 March 2013, I recommend going an hour before opening otherwise you’ll face a 2 hour queue. 

The Light Show at the Hayward Gallery

Light Show at the Hayward Gallery

After visiting the Rain Room I headed south to the Hayward Gallery to check out the Light Show, which opened on Wednesday.

Unfortunately the show was already sold out for the day. However, I’m a Southbank Centre member and there is a separate ticket allocation for members, so I was still able to visit the show. (And this is where I recommend that you become a member of whichever galleries/museums you like to visit most so that you can help fund their exhibits/events and get rewarded with fast-track access! But I digress…)

You can take pictures inside Chromosaturation by Carlos Cruz-Diez, so everyone was walking around taking pictures for instagram and Facebook. (I was no exception!)

You can take pictures inside Chromosaturation by Carlos Cruz-Diez, so everyone was walking around taking pictures for instagram and Facebook. (I was no exception!)

Many of the works play with your depth perception and equilibrium by forcing you to take in light in a certain way, which is absolutely amazing.

Walking though Chromosaturation by Carlos Cruz-Diez, pictured above, was trippy, and I felt as though my eyeballs were vibrating as I walked through each space of the installation, each marked not only by walls but by a specific colour of light. And this is precisely the type of response Cruz-Diez was looking to evoke when he created the piece, telling the Hayward:

‘the Chromosaturation is an artificial environment composed of three colour chambers, one red, one green and one blue that immerse the visitor in a completely Chromosaturation situation. Since the retina usually perceives a wide range of colours simultaneously, experiencing these monochromatic situations causes disturbances. This activates and awakens notions of colour in the viewer, who becomes aware of colour’s material and physical existence. Colour becomes a situation happening in space.’

In other works, such as Doug Wheeler’s Untitled (1969) the effects are similar. In this piece, the viewer is immersed in a room with large, light-encased square and immaculate floors and walls. When I stood directly in front of the large, square light with nothing else in my peripheral vision I felt as though my body was pulsing and the floor beneath my feet was shaking. When I closed my eyes I felt stillness again. As I opened them the moving sensation came back. It was brilliant.

Inside Ivan Navarro's Reality Show (Silver)

Inside Ivan Navarro’s Reality Show (Silver)

Step inside Ivan Navarro’s phonebox-like cubicle and you’ve entered Reality Show. You can see infinite reflections of the light and nothing else, while everyone outside the box can see you. Needless to say, the view is incredible and it’s easy to feel like you’re alone…. until you step out and realise there is a room full of people watching Reality Show, observing whomever is inside and waiting for their turn to experience it. Spooky.

The Light Show is open till 28 April 2013, and I recommend booking online as it’s very popular and has started to sell out in advance. Allow at least 2 hours to see everything. 

One thought on “Art-filled Sunday: Rain Room at the Barbican and Light Show at the Hayward Gallery

  1. Pingback: Chris Bracey at Scream Gallery | Call me Katie

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