The Sounds and Colors of the Pathless Woods

Anne Patterson’s captivating installation, Pathless Woods references a line from a Lord Byron poem – “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore. . . "  The interactive experience, currently at the Ringling Museum, encourages visitors to find their own path through a forest of ribbons.  Each ribboned path takes you on a different journey of sounds, colors, and light.  Patterson describes the feeling as, “swimming through color.”  Consisting of over 24 miles of hanging, satin ribbon in 14 different colors, the piece enables visitors to experience art in a unique way. 

Anne Patterson has synesthesia.  When she hears music, she “sees shapes and colors.”  In this installation, visitors leave one reality – the museum – and enter into a new one “where the senses are encouraged to overlap, producing a type of constructed synesthesia.”  Visiting the exhibit reminded me of the wonderful children’s book, The Noisy Paintbox by Barb Rosenstock in which a young Vasya Kandinsky paints the sounds of the colors and eventually finds his own path to creativity.

May we all find paths to access our creativity. . . 


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Debra Lemieux

If Then Creativity



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