This year, in preparation for my big trip, I’ve vowed to participate in #NoSpendNovember to help me save some much-needed funds. This attempt to economise has meant that I’ve recently been on the look out for things to do in London that won’t break the bank. So as soon as I spotted Ann Veronica Janssens’ completely free ‘yellowbluepink’ installation on Secret London’s Facebook page, I just had to pay it a visit.
My lovely friend Tom – who’s currently studying at London Contemporary Dance School – seemed like the perfect companion for this artistic expedition, so we made plans to go during half-term.
After slogging it in to London on a jam-packed commuter train (and spending 40 minutes sitting not-so-comfortably on the train floor) I met Tom and we joined the queue at Wellcome Collection to enter this mysterious room of coloured mist.
It’s safe to say we were both pretty amazed. I expected to encounter a room filled with the kind of fast-fading, bad-smelling dry ice I had grown accustomed to during my time doing A-level drama, but this stuff was magical.
This mist just hung in the air. It refused to fade or be disrupted by movement, and the light projections made the slow colour changes seem completely natural.
This installation is part of Janssens’ States of Mind exhibition, which explores consciousness and human experience. If I’m honest, I really expected this to just be an entertaining room filled with pretty coloured mist, but the experience of being deprived of many basic senses and of being placed into a deliberately disorientating situation ended up being extremely thought provoking.
The room plays tricks on you. At one point we lost each other and I felt too conscious of disrupting the experience to call out Tom’s name to find him. Several times I found myself walking, hands outstretched into a wall that did not seem to be there.
After about half an hour of exploring (and a quick mist-selfie) we agreed to search for the exit.
We eventually managed to blunder our way out of the sealed door into the real world and we set off in search of sustenance.
We made our way to the Charlotte Street Côte Brasserie for brunch, and spent an enjoyable few hours laughing and catching up over a couple of delicious cooked breakfasts.
There’s nothing better than brunch with an old friend.
I’d definitely recommend you go to check out the installation if you’re looking for something to do that’s a bit unconventional. It’s only open until the 3rd of January though, so not one to be mist. Sorry, couldn’t help myself!