I was very lucky to find out that the renowned visual artist Liz West organised an evening of cocktails, canapés and a talk in the gorgeous @no29powerstationwest on the 16th of Jan.
Several years passes since I was a west-end resident and I was very excited to explore the redeveloped area of Battersea, in proximity of the power station.
The iconic Grade II* listed building and surrounding area is being brought back to life as one of the most exciting and innovative mixed use neighbourhoods in the world – a place for locals, tourists and residents to enjoy a unique blend of restaurants, shops, parks and cultural spaces.
Liz West is a British artist (b.1985) who graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2007. West’s broad body of work encompasses wall-based artwork, sculpture, and site-specific installations.
Monumental installations of an intimate mix of light and colour.
West creates vivid environments that mix luminous colour and radiant light and aims to provoke a heightened sensory awareness in the viewer through her works.
She is interested in exploring how sensory phenomena can invoke psychological and physical responses that tap into our own deeply entrenched relationships to colour.
West's investigation into the relationship between colour and light is often realised through an engagement between materiality and a given site.
Our understanding of colour can only be realised through the presence of light. By playing and adjusting colour, West brings out the intensity and composition of her spatial arrangements.
West has been commissioned worldwide by institutions and organisations including Natural History Museum, National Trust, National Science and Media Museum, Natural England, Allied London, Grosvenor, British Land, Leftcoast, Bloc Projects, Salford University, Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Eden Arts and Bristol Biennial. West's work has been included in exhibitions with Chester Cathedral, Compton Verney, Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces, Cornerhouse, Brunel University, Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre, UK Young Artists and Royal British Society of Sculptors in the UK, as well as internationally at Kraftwerk Berlin and The Invisible Dog in New York.
Permanent works are sited in London, Manchester and Bury. Her work has been widely published including by Wallpaper*, FRAME Magazine, Dezeen, The Creator's Project, Design Boom, Huffington Post, Colossal, Thames & Hudson, The World of Interiors, The Times and The Independent.
Difference is Important, 2012
Installation (paint, coloured bulbs, acrylic, mirror, objects) | Dimensions variable
Four colours, four rooms, Difference is Important utilises the irregular nature of the gallery space. Stepping into the rooms you are immersed by the brash, intense colour, stimulating your senses. Questioning the architecture of space and colouration of objects, the work dissects the building, questioning what we see and understand.
Colour Transfer, 2018
Steel, Aluminium and PVC | 1780cm (L) 230cm x (H) x 51cm (W)
Commissioned by British Land, Colour Transfer is a new permanent commission spanning the underside of Paddington Central’s Westway Bridge. It comprises multiple angled coloured mirrors, vertically spanning the height of the brickwork to create an optically vibrant and kaleidoscopic installation. The prismatic shapes mirror the tunnel’s architecture. The colours apparent in the work change depending on where you are within the tunnel. The work appears different from one direction to the other. The coloured mirrors are positioned in a spectral arrangement running from dark red to pale pink when entering the underpass from the left and the opposite when entering from the right. As visitors move, they will encounter the fluctuating effect of light and reflections created by the coloured mirrors.
Our Colour Reflection, 2016
Installation (mirror, acrylic tubing) | 1100cm (L) 20cm x (H) x 1100cm (W)
Presented at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe from 14 May until 25 June and St. Mark's Mayfair from 4 - 15 July 2016, Our Colour Reflection creates a conversation between the viewer and the setting using more than 765 mirrors made of coloured acrylic. There are 15 colours in all and the mirrors with diameters of 30, 40, 50 and 60cm are set at different heights so that they both reflect the roof space of the old nave, revealing parts of the architecture that would otherwise be invisible, and project colour up into the historic interior. It is playful, elegant and engaging but also thoughtful.
Taking time to research and consider the history of the building and the weight of connotations it holds as a former place of worship, West studied the stained glass and considered the importance of light within the space.
‘This has allowed me to make sure the work is grounded within its site but also holds its own voice within the grandeur and information that the space brings to the conversation’ she says.
There is an element of performance to this work; it puts the audience to the fore, demanding a response, in West’s words ‘physically, emotionally, psychologically or even spiritually.’ Viewers will each have their own perspectives and their own experiences tempered by movement through the space and through time. By going unplugged here, West emphasises that while artificial light can be manipulated it can only, at best, replicate the dynamism, shifting mood and changes in quality embodied in natural light.
Your Colour Perception, 2015
Site-specific Installation (T8 fluorescent bulbs, cellulose gels) | Dimensions variable, this image shows 5000 sq ft.
Your Colour Perception incorporated all 5000 square feet of Castlefield Gallery’s New Art Spaces Federation House fourth floor in Manchester. The work was developed in direct response to the space prior. West reacted to the architectural space using colour and light to create vast immersive installation art.
Within this work, West was interested in the influence and perception of luminous colour in architectural space and on visitors experiencing it. West transformed Federation House into a sensory, visceral experience by overloading it with artificial chromatic light in which to test the psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual responses visitors experience during their encounter.
This work utilises the darkness outside to raise the strength of the illumination and colouration in the work. Using this enormous space to install a light work in the darkest Winter months allowed the colour to bleed with more saturation than if displayed any other time of the year.
To find out more about the artist and her work, please see link below.