The Wellcome Gallery is a large gallery tucked away in Euston. Surprisingly I had never heard of this gallery before and I was eager to see what work was on display. When we arrived in the gallery I was taken aback by the open spaces and the fact it was so friendly. The gallery itself is free for anyone to walk around and explore.
There were currently two exhibitions on display. The first was Alice Anderson’s Memory Movement, Memory Objects. We entered the entrance doors into the exhibition to be shocked by the darkness, the room was illuminated over each individual object or quote on the wall in exactly the right place. This highlighted the beautiful copper covered sculptures that were placed across the room. The main attraction of the first room was the work in progress that was actually still being created by the artist herself, a car body placed in the middle of the room was being covered in thin copper wire that resembled string. The artist had a certain way of covering the body of the car weaving the copper in the same pattern to create a sleeker finish, it made it look like hair. She calls her body of work an Archive of Movements and Moments.
Her second room focusses on objects of the everyday and the fact we barely acknowledge them. These objects are highly recognisable, we can pick out a globe, a pipe and even a huge set of stairs in the middle but these are things we simply overlook. By adding copper Anderson brings a new lease of life and a new beauty to the banal. In the next room she looks at hybrid objects such as merging a ladder with wooden panels and piling up lampshades, these become the beautiful objects of her own creation and could be classed as modern abstract sculpture. The next room was full, the two main pieces that filled the room were a hose covered in copper and snaked around the room creating another dimension in which to explore. To its left a circle of wooden panels giving the viewer a sense of stonehenge. The last room was titled Disordered Objects and featured speakers that still created sound and also an intricate broken dish.
I was really taken by Anderson’s work. Visually it was stunning to look at and explore all the artefacts she had covered in copper, it was also a simple yet clever idea. The simplicity of the idea made the exhibition so much stronger and it was actually something I enjoyed to walk around and explore, guessing which objects were which! The only downside is that we could not take photos, however this did not taint my overall experience and especially my first impressions of the Wellcome Collection.
The next exhibition is an installation piece by Ann Veronica Jassens called Stares of Mind (yellowbluepink). Her work explores light and colour through perception. Entering the room I did not know what to expect, the doors worked on an airlock systems so that none of what I would later discover to be mist could exit. I could not see anything but light beyond the doors in a shade of light pink as we walked into the room I had a sense of panic and I did not feel comfortable. As our eyes adjusted we could see further into the blankness of the room but not so far we could judge the size of the room or where the walls were. Walking forward we eventually came to a colour change, this felt like a barrier for the eyes and it was unclear if we wanted to enter the next colour or not. The most stunning thing about this colour change is that for a moment the colours mixed creating another colour entirely. Janssen’s piece aims to explore different aspects of human consciousness and human phenomena such as memory loss and synaesthesia. I found her work intriguing breaking the boundaries of interactive installation and enhancing all her senses to make us perceive and feel a certain way when confronted with her piece.
Wellcome Collection is a great find for me and I will definitely be returning there in the future. Its got lots of exciting new artists whose work is impressive and alternative to work I have seen in other galleries recently. I also am impressed with the fact it is free and so accessible to people who both know and do not know about art. It is an amazing space and clearly a space where artists ideas can become a reality.