In 2015 I visited an installation at London's Wellcome Collection called Yellow Blue Pink. Created by artist Veronica Ann Janssens, this immersive installation is simply a large room full of a thick, coloured mist. With carefully positioned LED lighting, the colour of the mist gradually shifts as you wander the space.
The fog-like mist is so dense that you can only just see your hand as you hold them up in front of you. This limited visibility meant everyone was walking around very slowly to avoid colliding or bumping into walls. It was a surreal scene to witness, unline anything I have experienced before. The colour changes effortlessly, like the sky at dusk. You don't notice the colour shifting, but as you transcend in and out of awareness, you observe that there is a profound new colour surrounding you every so often.
There was an overwhelming feeling of calm; I felt in a dream-like state as if I had stepped out of reality. This room almost felt like another dimension, universe or way of existing. I didn't know where I was with no orientation of the space or the outside world. You feel isolated, but get a greater understanding of yourself as you are alone with your thoughts and the movements on your own body. There are no textures, horizons or anything to give a sense of scale. You are nowhere. In emptiness. Everywhere you look all you see is a powerful yet gentle gradient of colour with the occasional silhouette of a person wandering by in the distance. It's what I imagine being inside a cloud is like, nothing to hold on to, but you can sense the constant shifting of the atmosphere around you. After 20 minutes inside the space, the question 'am I alive?' seems plausible because the experience is so unlike anything else.
Veronica Ann Janssens has done something extraordinary by transporting me into space that I can't quite describe and that I don't fully understand. She has made me feel new emotions, a sense of safe isolation that makes me question my existence. When art can seep into the mind of the viewer, it truly becomes powerful. Eventually, I meandered around until I found the exit, and as I stepped through that curtain, I was back on the Earth.