The power to stop the rain has been handed to visitors to a new art exhibition unveiled today.

The Rain Room at the Barbican takes art lovers on a journey through a dark corridor surrounded by the sound of drumming rain.

It leads into a brightly lit rectangle of space full of rain. When people step in, the water halts overhead, keeping them dry wherever they are standing.

rain room The Rain Room

The installation is by Random International, comprised of Germans Hannes Kock and Florian Ortkrass and Briton Stuart Wood.
The trio met in 2005 while students at the Royal College of Art in London.

Mr Wood said Rain Room was "a social experiment, designed to extract personality types".

He said: "It's a people-watching space. We watch people going in tentatively at first, or if you're of the ilk of being really excitable and outgoing you might just rush in. Or there might be a crowd mentality.

"Whether you know it or not, every day you play the part of audience and performer. And so this piece is just every day heightened. It's up to people to experiment with it and play with it, to push its boundaries and see if they can get wet."

The exhibition in The Curve at the Barbican, in north London, opens tomorrow and runs until March next year. Admission is free.

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