Up the Arcelor Mittal Orbit & in an Anish Kapoor MirrorSaturday, 20 April 2013
The Arcelor Mittal Orbit is the weirdly twisting tower constructed for the 2012 Olympics in London. The whole Olympic Park is in the process of being redeveloped so hardly any of it is currently open to the public. You can visit the tower and zip up to the 80 metre high viewing platform as part of a Park in Progress tour, which means they show you a video of London Mayor Boris Johnson waffling on about the place, put you in a bus and drive you a couple of minutes to the tower. The view from the top is not that exciting – central London and Canary Wharf are a long way away while down below you is the Olympic Stadium surrounded by a lot of empty space. It’s 431 steps if you want to walk back down. Come back in 10 years time might be the best advice although for your £15 you do get a close up view of a big piece of art. I’ll check the view from the Shard soon.
• Research how to get there before you start out, the bus leaves from the Park in Progress depot near the Pudding Mill Lane DLR (Docklands Light Railway) line, one stop from Stratford and the Westfields Shopping Centre. It’s badly signposted and not easy to find.
The artist responsible is Anish Kapoor and just a couple of weeks earlier I went to a terrific exhibit of his work at the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) at Circular Quay in Sydney. Too late, it’s just finished! His ‘sculptures’ are wonderfully weird, you can spend a lot of time thinking ‘what am I looking at?’ Or there’s his delightful modern versions of those old fairground distorting mrrors.
◄ Me, distorted.