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Joy and Tranquility – The Wellcome Collection

Freedom Friday: Laura

It’s getting a little predictable that Laura’s Freedom Friday = a trip to the Wellcome Collection, but I just can’t help myself. It’s one of my favourite spaces in London and always changing. The theme of On Happiness was too good to resist – an exploration of ‘the value of positive emotions in the midst of adversity’ propelled me onto the train and in to the glorious building on Euston Road to find out more.

Joy and Tranquility – The Wellcome CollectionJoy and Tranquility – The Wellcome Collection
Joy and Tranquility – The Wellcome Collection
Joy and Tranquility – The Wellcome Collection

The On Happiness season features two exhibition rooms – one on Tranquility, the other on Joy. Tranquility instantly hit upon entering the first room, sounds, lighting and even smell were all part of the experience. The space explored the idea of ‘What makes us tranquil’ – spirituality and nature playing key roles in the pieces on display as well as exploring the true cost of the multi-billion dollar wellness industry. A lot of this room held the favourite things from my visit, but none beat the ‘Regarding Forests’ piece – a series of backlit images of forests with sounds and smells, where you could just sit in the dim light and soak it in. Tranquil, indeed.

Joy and Tranquility – The Wellcome Collection
Joy and Tranquility – The Wellcome Collection

The Joy space had an entirely different feel, I wasn’t actually ready for it after my forest-bathing, but quickly adjusted to the lighting and tone. There were a number of new David Shrigley pieces that I really enjoyed here, but the interactive Updating Happiness piece at the end was a graphic/information designer’s dream – a series of quotes visualised using a number of elements including pattern, colour, fonts and shapes depending on the participants feelings of anxiety, happiness, feelings of worth and age. You are invited to take part, where you can then see your own depiction of happiness on the digital wall outside the exhibit and online.

Joy and Tranquility – The Wellcome Collection
Joy and Tranquility – The Wellcome Collection
Joy and Tranquility – The Wellcome CollectionJoy and Tranquility – The Wellcome Collection
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