Sunday 6 December 2015

Ann Veronica Janssens: yellowbluepink, Wellcome Collection

This installation is the first part of States of Mind, the Wellcome Collection's year-long exploration of human consciousness. Before entering the space filled with coloured mist you can see the tantalising glow of pink through the entrance. Queueing is to be expected but fear not, there are tablets along the waiting area with various examples of optical illusion and tricks of perspective, focussing the mind on the way our vision and brain work together and how they can fool us in to seeing things in a false way.

When your turn arrives and you step into the mist it is like entering another world. Making your way through the different coloured mist other visitors will emerge as if from nowhere, a wall will appear moments before walking in to it. If you go in a group this may all feel like a fun, unusual experience, but step away from them and venture solo into the mist and suddenly your point of reference is gone. The mist feels oppressive, as if the colour is pressing against your eyes, all sense of perspective and depth gone.

Disorienting it may be, but certainly worth a visit (and do brave some lone wandering - it makes the experience far more powerful). Yellowbluepink only runs until 3rd January 2016, but I look forward to the next instalment of this fascinating exhibition.

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