The Sticky Silver Track


“Come to the central point of disorientation, sculpture court, level 3, to start your journey, or collect a map from any of the points of disorientation at gates 1,3, and 9. Pick up a copy of The Sticky Silver Track, a board book for children and a guide to the weekend.”

As part of the Barbican’s 25th Birthday celebrations, Barbican Art Gallery commissioned  artist Anna Best to work within the unique context of the Barbican Estate.



Intrigued by the collision of private, residential and public space that is very particular to the ‘citadel’ of the Barbican, Best stages an ephemeral ‘gallery’ of images inspired by the landscape and life of the Estate. These ‘images’ – momentary, moving events – unfold on the public walkways and on the Sculpture Court. In Best’s imagination the Barbican becomes a metaphorical setting – like a fortress or a labyrinth, in a children’s fairy tale – through which visitors are invited to make a journey full of lyrical encounters and surprising sights.

Fascinated by the arcane bye-laws that govern life on the Estate, Best has devised a piece that attempts to introduce incoherency and elements of the absurd into this carefully controlled environment. Happen upon a wandering pantomime mule or find an unusual stash of treasure where chewing gum sparkles silver. Catch the sound of farmyard animals and snatch a glimpse of strange long-haired people. Dodge a crowd of toddlers setting off on a mass rally and enjoy the spectacle of a group of babies tucking into a three course meal at a very special restaurant.

Accompanying book The Sticky Silver Track
A full-colour children’s board book which captures the odd, enchanted world of the Barbican. Story by Anna Best, illustrations by Vera Eggermann and rhyming by Sophie Herxheimer. Published by Barbican Art Gallery




Weekend highlights include:

Points of Disorientation
Central Point of Disorientation
Sculpture Court, Level 3
Further Points of Disorientation:
Gate 1 (Silk Street – Main Entrance)
Gate 3 (Moorgate Tube Entrance)
Gate 9 (Barbican Tube Entrance)
Collect a sheet and map your experience as you navigate the Barbican.

In collaboration with Barbican Resident, David Rosenberg of Velorose

Free Network Stations
Mobile computer structures, powered by wind, and roaming human webcams will be relaying a continuous stream of images of the events taking place over the weekend. Connect to the network with your wireless laptops and PDA’s and download the images from the free wireless Hive network. Screensaver animations by students at City of London School for Girls.
Pantomime Mule
A wandering mule wears a coat of Barbican Bye-Laws

Sat 2 Jun/ 12.30-2pm
Restaurant for Babies
The Terrace in the Conservatory, Level 4
Recommended age group: 6-12 months
Come along and treat your baby! Enjoy them tuck into a gourmet meal, specially designed by Quentin Fitch, Searcy’s acclaimed chef, complete with silver service, waiters and pristine white tables. First come, first served!

Created in collaboration with ClubMum

Sat 2 Jun/ 3pm
Falling Flowers
Entrance to Shakespeare Tower, Level 2 (next to Frobisher Crescent)
Watch balloon powered plastic flower pots float from the 28th floor of Shakespeare Tower. Retrieve them and sow the seeds tucked away in the pots.

In collaboration with Barbican Resident, Judith King

Sun 3 Jun/ 12.30-1pm
Waiting for Rose
Defoe Place steps (Beech St)

A larger than life figure dressed in a specially made costume parades through the Barbican Estate.

Sun 3 Jun/2-2.30pm
Solitude Seven Eleven

A short play by Jenny Plastow and Ron irwin, exploring ideas of solitude and community and written in response to the Barbican, staged in a private flat in Willoughby House. For details and tickets (17 spaces available) visit and box office 0845 121 6825.

Sun 3 Jun/ 3-4pm
Toddler Rally
Meeting Point: Sculpture Court, Level 3 (adjacent to Barbican Art Gallery)
Finish Point: Gate 8, John Wesley Highwalk
Recommended age: 1-3 years old
Bring your Toddler. Join us for a mass rally of youngsters along the Barbican Estate highwalks. Bring their push-along, pull-along and sit-on wheeled toys. Anything goes.


AA Casting, Alex, Alice,  Amy, Andrea Crociani, City of London School for Girls Art and ICT departments, Adam de la Cour, Cordelia, Margaret Douglas, Gabby, HiveWares, Oliver Hogan, Judith King, Katie, Melanie Lenz, Lucy, Live Art Development Agency, Alona Pardo, Roland Ross, Angela Starling, Simon Steven, Siriol, Emma Smith, Taeko, Theo, Tomoko Takahashi, Annie Toop, Wimbledon School of Art BA Print and Digital Media…

Photographs of event by Simon Steven


  • The Sticky Silver Track Programme
  • digital video (Carl Dieker)
  • photographs (Simon Steven)
  • wind powered network structure (Barbican Art Gallery)
  • network images
  • drawings (City of London School for Girls)
  • pantomime mule costume (Barbican Art Gallery)
  • ocado bag dress
  • silver chewing gum from Brandon estate- silver castings x 50
  • children’s board book x 1000 ( length 12 pages, Language English, Publisher Barbican Art Gallery, Publication date 1 Jun. 2007, ISBN – 978-0946372379 )
  • purchase from Barbican Bookshop,  Amazon and from me.