At the weekend I headed to London to meet Mike and have a look at the Wellcome Collection in Euston. Alongside this culture visit was also the promise of cider.
This new installation by Ann Veronica Janssens explores light and colour as she invades the gallery with coloured mist. Colour is caught in a state of suspension, obscuring any detail of surface or depth. Instead, attention is focussed on the process of perception itself. Janssens’s work is both disorienting and uplifting as the daily wonder of conscious experience is given renewed emphasis. – wellcomecollection.org
We were given the heads-up to head in early and avoid the queue. You’re given a warning chat beforehand (no sitting on the floor), handed a lanyard and then you make your way through an ‘air-lock’ before being engulfed with a colourful (and very bright) mist.
As you move about, you have no initial sense of the size of the room. This makes you want to grab the person you’re with just incase they disappear forever into who-knows-what.
The mist changes colour as you move about – all nice, friendly, pastel colours – pink to yellow to white. Although a very different, and fun, experience the room itself was a little disappointing. I’m not sure what we were expecting before we went in but once you start to move around you quickly realise that the space is small. Especially when you find plug sockets and window edges.
It was really easy to lose all sense of where Mike had gone. Even thought he was an arm length away, he was as good as gone after a few steps.
The pink colour felt the most unnatural and almost headache inducing after a while. Very odd to the senses – like being a little lost but not lost enough to make you panic. The uniqueness made it a very cool exhibit to explore.
The rest of the collection is also brilliant. At the top there is a chance to relax, read, send a postcard and marvel at the odd structures and limitless bookcases – this is known as the Reading Room.
The other exhibits we visited were Medicine Now and Medicine Man. Medicine Now was interesting, clearly exploring obesity, genomes and the human body. I like how visual the exhibit is – sometimes it is nice to look and explore, rather than read reams of text.
The Wellcome Collection is really interesting and interactive. Lots of space to read, play and interact. If you are in the area it is certain worth a visit.
Oh, and yes there was booze.