Ann Veronica Janssens: yellowbluepink, The Wellcome Collection
Waiting in an hour-long entry queue is no hindrance to the success of yellowbluepink as an exhibition. It engages, challenges, uplifts and unsettles. In the interactive piece at the Welcome collection Ann Veronica Janssens explores the process of perception and questions human consciousness through her medium of fog and light.
After walking through a set of airtight double doors you are entirely submerged in an ever-changing spectrum of colours and smoke similar to that of a squat rave, this term is fitting as the atmosphere you are surrounded in is entirely mind-altering. The mist that envelopes you prevents you from seeing no further than roughly two meters ahead or below, whilst the eerie silence (accompanied by the occasional bumping sound caused by the aforementioned lack of visibility) creates a totally abstract experience.
Each colour that you seemingly float through evokes a different emotion or sense; vulnerability by green, warmth by yellow, optimism by pink and contemplation by blue, all of which blend together in a wonderfully surreal sea. Jonathan Jones likened the experience to being inside a Monet or Turner painting due to the vibrancy of colour, but claimed it was lesser due to the lack of mystery and emotional stimulation induced. Well, it’s certainly more tangible than a painting. The projected colours themselves provide different senses of constriction or exposure, which physically influence you at all times.
Admittedly the exhibition is slightly lacking in substance. It could easily be mistaken for a room in a haunted house, or as I mentioned, a party. But as Janssens is not attempting to overload us with cultural information, instead encourage us to question our own emotional reactions, the exhibition serves it’s purpose (and uplifts you whilst doing so). One leaves the gallery with a greater awareness of space and clarity, an appreciation for consciousness that so often goes unnoticed. Outside, Euston station had never looked so sharp- just as Janssens intended.
This article was written for the December/January edition for the paper. It features content appropriate to the intended date of publication, and hence it might not be possible to visit or see the events/objects mentioned anymore. We apologise for the delay in the publication of the article.