Another south-east London dispatch, this time to a soon-to-be-demolished council flat in at 157 Harper Road in Elephant and Castle, which has been transformed by artist Roger Hiorns into a grotto of blue crystals.
It’s a small flat – and as you enter, passing a scrap of sixties wallpaper still intact, you walk first into an ordinary, bare living room and kitchen. It’s dark and dirty, with a stench of years and years of habitation gone stale, and the boarded-over windows make it especially dingy. Then you turn back and left into what must have been the bedroom and bathroom, which are now covered in rich blue copper sulphate crystals, sharp to the touch. And that is it. The bathroom entrance is so encrusted with crystals that there’s barely room to squeeze through, and very little room in the bathroom anyway.
Only a few people are allowed in at a time, so it’s not too crowded. And it’s the kind of installation you can imagine some people getting annoyed with, and saying but what does it mean? To be honest, I have no idea. But it’s worth seeing. And as the demolition of the building is delayed, it’s now on until January.