exhibition review – State of Mind- Ann Veronica Janssens

This is a fun and lighthearted look into the conscious mind, held at the Welcome Collection.

Just outside the main exhibition are iPads and books, to help the view further understand and interact with optical illusions, these were created by Studio Hato.

The installation aims to deliberately challenge and disorientate the way we process colour. Its an investigation into the experience of human consciousness.

As you entre an air lock type entrance (which is needed, as the coloured mist will escape) a clinical feeling emerges until you enter the main room.

At first you are disorientated as you are enveloped in a coloured blanket of fog. This is not a mist it is much more like a fog, dense and dry and fleeting but also unnerving, creating a sense of unease as you try and wait for your eyes to adjust, but they don’t. This doesn’t stop you walking through it, with the feel of extremely short sightedness, constantly looking to see how big the space is.

The colour I feel is secondary to the fog, (unlike the James Turrell installation at the Yorkshire Sculpture park)as the colour is more concentrated at the top of the room, meaning to see this you need to be looking up, and throughout the rest of the room the colour is more subdued and blended together.

You can hear others in the space but not see them until they get very close and then suddenly appear. The room is simple and as you walk around it slowly it can get rather tedious. The work is interesting but could have been so much more. The experience is quick as people are waiting to come in. The room and experience itself could have been improved with a different shaped space, or other objects chairs to sit in, or even a different way out to the way in.

Janssen’s is well known form her work that aims to remove us from daily life, and return us to a state of awareness. I personally didn’t feel it did this enough, a fun way to spend ten minutes, but needed more depth to the work.

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