A friend was telling me how, next week, she’s off to see Rihanna, at the O2 in Greenwich.
She last went along to see Beyonce, and the time before that, she’d also been to see Beyonce. But the time before that was eleven years ago, and she was visiting the O2 in its previous incarnation: The Millennium Dome.
What was it like? I asked. Rubbish, she said, all of the stuff inside was just dreadful.
Oh, I said. I did some of that stuff.
At the time, I was working for a set building company in South London and, as a break from the work we were doing with Disneyland Paris (more here) a few of us began work on something for the Dome called (dreadfully) ‘The Living Island Zone’.
The idea was that we would replicate a kind of candy-striped, end of pier, seaside look. And then we’d contractually plaster it with incongruous messages about the environment. A quick google turned up a couple of things I’d made with my friend Greer, in a warehouse in Woolwich.
It all looks pretty ropey and amateur now, twelve years later. To be honest, it didn’t look that amazing back then. The mermaid’s right hand is on backwards, for God’s sake. But it’s still funny to think that someone has a family photo of their daughter, beaming away under a sign that says ‘24,000 deaths are linked to air pollution each year’ (I’ve no idea who the kid is).