21st June 2000
Long Lane, London EC1A 9HL
‘Snowballs in Summer’
One of the impressive characteristics of the typical city worker is their ability to completely ignore anything out of the ordinary that might be going on outside their incredibly busy world (or general comfort zone) – usually because it’s almost always likely to be some sort of trap.
So, when celebrated artist Andy Goldsworthy unleashed 13 giant snowballs on the streets around the Barbican, Smithfield and Charterhouse on the longest day of the year, the most sensible thing to do, obviously, is to pretend there’s nothing happening – unless you’re a tourist or a schoolkid, of course. [I am talking 15-odd years ago here: these days everyone and his dog would be taking selfies with them].
Four days later, as Raymond Briggs tragically reminds us, they were all gone and life returned to normal.
Goldsworthy, it turns out, is not the only artist to create an artwork juxtaposing winter and summer. There are also more natural versions of the snowball – or you could go so far as to make your own, although the results are always inevitably likely to be familiar.
And, of course there’s a tune for the occasion, from Robert Smith and chums in their less miserabilist mode.