It’s on days like these I realise the £20 I spent on an umbrella was worth every penny. It’s survived gales, 80mph gusts, hail, snow and Northfield Station.
On arrival there today for my morning commute I, like dozens of other bemused and disturbed passengers, was greeted by the station’s new indoor water feature. I was instantly reminded of an art installation I saw at the Ikon Gallery many years ago, which sought to give the visitor the full visual, auditory and sensory experience of an Asian monsoon. Indeed, as I watched glittering drops of water fall, like liquid diamonds, from the brightly lit strip lights above me this morning, I wondered if the piece had been commissioned from the same artist.
Carefully avoiding the puddles sprinkled across the tiled floor in an abstract Pollock-esque pattern, I raised my trusty brolly and ventured into the station’s dripping bowels to view the shallow pool there. Surrounding it were a few randomly placed cones, perhaps meant to represent mountains in some cubist or Bauhausian interpretation of the Lickey Hills. It was an unusual piece, and I took a moment to ponder on its meaning. Finding none, I sauntered towards the platform entrance where a few of my scientifically-minded peers gaped in awe at a ceiling that appeared to rain heavier than the skies outside.
I admit it: I’m a fan of art, and Centro’s attempts to educate the culturally-bereft dullards of south west Birmingham with station-based modern art are to be applauded. It’s a shame that the alternative doors at Longbridge Station were so misinterpreted, and came under much criticism, but then Jackson Pollock’s fractal genius wasn’t discovered until decades after his death. I strongly believe that in time, despite the naysayers, Northfield and Longbridge will be able to stand proudly and deservedly alongside Hepworth and Picasso. I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity, during the wettest drought on record, to take part in one of the finest pieces of installation art in recent memory.
So as I bid you adieu and farewell, I smile at the knowledge that my £56 hard-earned monthly fee to Centro – just like the £20 I paid for my trusty old brolly – is being put to excellent use.
Update 26/4/12: Brandy reports on twitter that we are to be plunged back into cultural poverty as there is a “man on the roof [of Northfield Station] hammering for all he’s worth” this morning! ;) Well done Centro!