Before entering, staff guide you to two doors which serve as a boundary between reality and Janssens’ representation of mesmerism and consciousness. When stepping into the room, your vision is encircled by brightly coloured pink mist, which is so opaque that anything further than a metre surrounding you is simply not visible. Every aspect of the room is completely disorienting, and what baffled me was the uncertain size of the room; I was completely unaware of how big or small it was, as all bearings were lost as soon as I stepped through the door. In fact, I didn’t become aware of where I was until I walked straight into the wall on the other side of the room, and even then I was lost at the boundary of the mist. As you walk through the blurring mist, colours merge into one another, and you find yourself transitioning from pink to yellow to green to blue. The flowing change of colours is somewhat therapeutic, as they add to the calm atmosphere encircling the room. This calm atmosphere is additionally achieved by the lack of sound. When stepping into the exhibition, the sheer silence is slightly alarming due to its juxtaposition with busy London outside; it is almost as though you have travelled to another planet, one which Janssens would argue is your mind. Though I was with my friends and we occasionally whispered to one another very quietly, the lack of sound certainly served to showcase Janssens’ wish for visitors to be solely enveloped in they mind.
As someone who has never visited a light installation before, I would highly recommend States of Mind to anyone, as it is so unique to any other current exhibition in London and serves as a meditating and calming experience for all. Plus, for any lovers of photography, the photographs turn out pretty cool.
States of Mind is a free exhibition at Welcome Collections which is open to the public until 3rd January 2016.