Colorful Liz West’s reflections

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When presenting her new ambitious work “Our Colour Reflection”, British artist Liz West describes it as a playful, elegant, engaging and probably the most thoughtful and quiet work of hers. “Our Colour Reflection” is an installation of more than 700 colorful mirrors in the former St John’s Church building which is now in 20-21 Visual Centre gallery in Scunthorpe, England. The installation transforms the Gothic interior of the building as colorful mirrors reflect the gallery’s lighting on the roof. Altogether, there are 15 different shades of colored mirrors which are set at various heights in order to reflect the roof space of the old nave, revealing parts of the architecture that would otherwise be invisible, and project color up into the historic interior. The visitors will be able to see themselves in the reflecting surfaces while exploring the space. It works like a dialogue between viewer, architecture, and artwork. 4. Liz West, Our Colour Reflection, 2016. Image Credit - Hannah Devereux

It took Liz months of logistical planning, including a number of site visits in a period of two years, as well as researching the best place where to source colored mirrors in the widest palette, organizing shipments of materials from abroad, and trying to figure out the best way to get the site she wanted – specifically the grand architecture of the former church building, whilst trying to convince people that what she had in her head was going to work. “I took a lot of time to research and consider the history of the building and the weight of connotations it holds as a former place of worship. I  thought about stained glass and 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 space brings to the conversation,” said the author. 14. Liz West, Our Colour Reflection, 2016. Image Credit - Hannah Devereux 10. Liz West, Our Colour Reflection, 2016. Image Credit - Hannah Devereux 5. Liz West, Our Colour Reflection, 2016. Image Credit - Hannah Devereux

“Viewers will each have their own perspectives and their own experiences tempered by movement through space and through time. By going unplugged here, I am trying to emphasize 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,” she continued. One of the exhibition visitors even observed that it felt like the stained glass had fallen out of the windows onto the floor, shimmering in the sunlight. However, the work constantly changes, depending on the time of the day. When it is light, a sunlight comes through the windows and hits the mirrors. During the sunset, the gallery spotlights reflect off the colored mirrors and send vibrant color dots up into the interior of the former St John’s church, illuminating the neo-gothic architecture.

17. Liz West, Our Colour Reflection, 2016. Image Credit - Hannah Devereux 11. Liz West, Our Colour Reflection, 2016. Image Credit - Hannah Devereux

Liz West creates installations, which use colors and light to transform spaces and the ways people experience them. She studied Fine Art Sculpture & Environmental Art at the Glasgow School of Art. Previous large-scale works include “Your Colour Perception”, at the Manchester’s Federation House, and An Additive Mix her renowned installation at the National Media Museum.

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