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Review: Light Blue, at The Royal Standard

Sometimes you forget you missed your inner child, until an exhibition brings it out of you. Light Blue did that for me.

Light Blue questions how the five senses help us to explore our emotions. The colour featured in the title and on all four walls was chosen because it has been argued that it can slow our heart rate. The other features of the exhibition were chosen to induce a similar feeling of relaxation, or calm.

All four artists come from quite different backgrounds, and thus created diverse art works. They are all highly interactive, like the magnetic balls which spin around plastic rings, by artist, Kitty Jones, who studied comfort objects as potential anxiety control for adults.

I have to admit I was rather confused by escapologist Alex Margo Arden’s contributions to the show, which includes swords hanging from ropes and marionettes lying on the floor, but at the very least my curiosity was peaked.

The scented installation by Hannah Bitowski involves fuzzy full-head covers that smelled of pleasant, sweet things that visitors could enjoy touching, sniffing, and even wearing. It is meant to raise questions of comfort and safety within public spaces.

Ambient sounds created by musical artist Michael Lacey accompany bean bags. The sounds include guitars and analogue synthesizers, and aim to be emotive, drone-like, and densely layered with counter-melodies.

At first glance, the installation looks like a strange playroom, but the artists put a great deal of study into how to create objects that can enhance wellbeing, unlock memories, or raise questions of public safety. WHISC (Women’s Health Information & Support Center) has paired with The Royal Standard to host yoga sessions and other wellbeing activities as part of this installation, putting to use the calming atmosphere within the four blue walls.

It is definitely worth a visit, and time should be allowed to interact and let the atmosphere of the exhibition sink in.

Light Blue aims to question how the world as we perceive it can affect us both physically and emotionally. Perhaps the best way to do that is to return to a child-like feeling of curiosity.

Light Blue at The Royal Standard runs until 24th March 2019
Words & images by Sophia Charuhas