Installation artist and Aesthetica Art Prize 2016 finalist, Liz West, is returning to her hometown of Barnsley in a retrospective at The Civic. Widely recognised for her vivid approach to light and colour, West incorporates a variety of materials to create a deeply sensory, immersive experience for the viewer.
This use of luminous colour provides a psychological and scientific quality to West’s work. Her renowned piece, An Additive Mix (2015), was shortlisted for the Best Light Art Installation in the Darc Awards, London, and exhibited at the National Media Museum in Bradford. When viewed from a distance, the mirrored room spills with bright white light. As the viewer approaches and explores the detail, 250 individual colour tones and shades are revealed. As the light seemingly flows into the distance, the colours begin to distort and merge.
A similar approach was seen in her work for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2016, where a specific piece was adapted to the new environment. Shifting Luminosity (2014) uses minimal materials to direct the flow of artificial light, creating an ambient spatial drawing and is part of a series based on research into colour theory and light fields.
The exhibition at The Civic introduces early photographic works, reinstating the framework that underlines her interest in colour and the engagement of the viewer. The Trolley Series (2007-2011) will be on display, sharply referencing consumer society and the disposable culture of modern day.
This series of six photographs reflect the way in which sporadic colour variety seen inside supermarkets can be contained in a shopping trolley within a surreal, single block colour. A domestic environment is transformed into a canvas, altering the way in which we see the products that currently shape our consumer culture.
Whilst colour is present in the everyday, West highlights the profound elements of the very thing that makes up everything that we see and feel.
Liz West: The Trolley Series is at The Civic until 28 January, Open Daily, 10am-5pm. Admission is free. For more information visit www.barnsleycivic.co.uk
For more information on Liz West, visit www.liz-west.com
1. Liz West, An Additive Mix. Photograph © Stephen Iles.