Axisweb Selects: Liz West at Federation House

Sheila McGregor

Liz West, an artist who creates stunning, immersive light-based installations, is our next Axisweb Selects artist. She’s set to light up Federation House this month.

Coming to Federation House at the end of this month is Liz West’s stunning new exhibition, Your Colour Perceptionit’s just the kind of huge, light-based showcase that’s guaranteed to lift the spirits and brighten gloomy January days. West is an artist who works with colour and light, creating luminous, immersive environments that saturate your field of vision, slow you down and draw you in. A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, she has a growing reputation for her site-responsive work.

Liz West creates luminous, immersive environments that saturate your field of vision

For this new commission, West will use all 5000 square feet of Federation House’s empty fourth floor as a laboratory for experimentation. Filling this arts space – which is run by Castlefield Gallery – with new light works, she is hoping to document and research how the installations affect her audience physically, emotionally and perhaps even spiritually too – which means that it’s your colour perception that interests her.

West takes inspiration from a long line of modern and contemporary artists – such as James Turrell, Angela Bulloch, Olafur Eliasson and Dan Flavin – who have used colour, light and atmosphere as their medium. What characterises West’s approach, however, is her inventive use of sculptural form and a tireless, almost obsessive, cataloguing and re-ordering of objects, colours and materials.

The exhibition at Federation House is the culmination of West’s recent spell as artist-in-residence at Kurt Schwitters’s Merz Barn in Cumbria, and will include the drawings that provide the vital underpinning for her dramatic light installations (many of these works on paper will be available for purchase). Part of Castlefield Gallery’s ongoing transformation of Federation House, West’s installation promises to offer a magical experience as the light slowly fades outside.

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