Exhibition Review: Colourscape

By / Oct 5th, 2013 / / No comments

Colourscape is a labyrinth of colour and sound. Technically a music festival, it’s made up of interconnected pod-like rooms that are bathed in different coloured lights. This is the closest you’re ever going to get to finding the end of the rainbow, and although there’s no pot of gold in sight, there is a small entrance fee. Originally created by artist Peter Jones in the ’70s, portable mazes like these now move around courtesy of Eye Music Trust, their mission to bring contemporary arts and music wherever they go.

A travelling festival, Colourscape trekked across the country this summer, briefly parking outside The Holburne Museum in Bath as well as setting up camp at Christchurch Park in Ipswich. There was a whole range of music tootin’ inside the colour-flooded chambers, including Hyperyak Far Eastern music and string music (performed by the Elysian Quartet), meaning these light tunnels provided a unique musical experience as well as a visual one.

Entering this giant inflatable structure feels like wandering into a cubist painting. As you walk in you are handed a primary colour cape (so that you become part of the experience for others), you slip off your shoes and they tell you to try and remain quiet and reflective. Inevitably the second you pass through the doors, there’s nothing but overexcited children having the time of their lives; running, screaming and falling over. Nevertheless the combination of colour and music as well as the added bonus of inflatable walls makes this exhibition feel distinctively otherworldly.

Musicians walk around aimlessly, people lie on the ground watching the light around them, and kids run through the corridors, changing colour from red to green as they switch room, before slipping out of sight.  Colourscape manages to capture some of the magic of being alive by exploring the simple pleasures of seeing and hearing new things. It feels like briefly escaping to another world for an adventure. And if there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that running around in a bouncy, multi-coloured series of rooms with a great soundtrack is the perfect way to kill a rainy afternoon.

Read more about Colourscape on their website www.eyemusic.org.uk.

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