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Light Research @ MMU

The ChromaVan

This piece extends an invitation to small groups of people to enjoy an intimate light and colour experience in the comfort of a re-modelled caravan. Using powerful LED lighting technology hidden behind a large, curved diffusion screen, the experience revolves around a unique exploration of colour perception. Hosted by a couple of artist-guides, groups of five or so participants are assembled, inducted and then enter the neutral-coloured, curvilinear interior for a 12 minute colour and light experience.chromevan 1

In this darkened interior we get to experience all the wavelengths of light up close and personal. The ChromaVan experience uses over a thousand high-powered LED’s that fade through the complete colour spectrum, and are accompanied by music and an audio guide. It concludes with every participant receiving a personalised colour reading – which is akin to a horoscope but works through colour choices. It is based on the work of Swiss psychologist Dr Luscher’s famous Colour Test, and gives you a personalised reading with some practical and spiritual guidance on your journey through life.

First developed as an engagement tool for a hard to reach and troubled housing estate, the ChromaVan proved such a success that it has been used in scores of different contexts: both creative, civic and community. It has proven to be accessible and rewarding to a very wide range of people, having been road tested in some very demanding situations ranging from severely disadvantaged housing estates and late night city centres to market town shoppers to swanky European festivals. The creative experience works on several layers – as an unusual optical effect, as an intellectual stimulus, as a spiritual meditation and as a psychological revelation.chromevan2

It’s quite hard to describe the full ChromaVan experience, but after presenting it there, the Director of Hastings Coastal Currents Festival said, ‘Hardened cynics, hard to please teenagers, hard at work production crews and children of all ages; every single one of them came out of the ChromaVan glowing and smiling. We could have done with a dozen ChromaVans to fill the need as word spread. Not only a joy to the soul but scarily accurate in its portrait of nearly everyone who entered its white womb like interior. Loved it!’

Written by Chris Squire, Impossible Arts:



March 2nd, 2015 - 15:35pm

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