Go See: The Rain Room at The Barbican

Happy New Year to you all, we hope your festive season was fun and you are all nicely relaxed and ready for whatever 2013 brings. We both had a fabulous break and return re energised to inspire you anew.

After possibly one of the wettest Christmases I can remember, you might think I’ve had one too many festive sherries when I suggest you visit the Random International Rain Room at The Barbican. Situated in The Curve gallery, this is basically an art installation rain cloud that magically stops raining on your little circle of space when you walk through it, if only real rain were so hospitable. Due to clever sensors, the downpour stops right above where you are walking, so you fell like you are controlling the weather, it’s fun, particularly for small children and anyone British.

What is this thing we Brits have for rain? Weather generally actually, but rain in particular. There is nothing I like more than being inside listening to rain belting down, throw in thunder and lightening and I’m happier than Jools Holland tinkling his piano at hootennany. I’m not the only one, the queues for the Rain Room project have been huge (make sure you go early) with The Barbican reporting waits of up to two hours at peak times. We went on holiday Sunday first thing and there was a good 50 people waiting, although we moved through pretty speedily.

It’s such a simple idea but great fun and clearly dodging rain really resonates with people. It doesn’t smell like rain, which is disappointing, although you could always take a bottle of Marc Jacobs Rain, or maybe CB I Hate Perfume’s Wet Pavements, and splash that about. Also the sensors don’t pick up black or worse, shiny black, so  pick your outfit carefully or it’ll be just like normal and the rain wont stop.

The Rain Room is at The Barbican Curve gallery until March 3rd 2013. Go early or off peak to avoid queues, it’s a free exhibition.

Also, while you are at The Barbican, can we suggest you pop along to the almost secret Conservatory up next to the art gallery on the third floor. It’s only open on Sundays but is worth finding for its authentic 70s retro vibe. If you have ever wondered where all those of-the-moment cheese and rubber plants went after they went out of fashion they are here, growing happily amongst the brutalist concrete. Be sure to wear your cheesecloth shirt and flares.


  • Lesley says:

    Wow – a rain room! After a week and more of daily temps in the high 30s and low 40s, that is one art installation that could go down a treat here in Western Australia.

  • marv says:

    Did you not get wet? Neil and Sarah-Anne went and both got SOAKED. Neil was told it wasn’t working for him because he was wearing a black jacket. SA was told it didn’t work for her because her top was bright pink.

    Didn’t matter whether they stood still, moved fast or slow but it just didn’t work. I think it was just broken and they couldn’t say that… they were both quite poorly afterwards, combination of soaking wet, freezing cold and (we jokingly said) a dose of Legionnaires!

    Was very glad I missed out on it, to be honest!

  • Amanda says:

    Worked perfectly for us, there was the odd drip from the stopped bits but nothing to make you really wet. I think what you are wearing is key, the website could do with a warning on it about black and shiny….perhaps they were unlucky? Ax

  • mary says:

    Happy New year Ladies and welcome back!

  • amanda says:

    thanks Mary and how lovely to have Lesley reading in Aus! A

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