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Immersive installations by Liz West transform rooms into luminous arenas of prismatic light

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#Installation
#Light
# public art
# site-specific

June 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Hymn to the Big Wheel” (2021), steel, PVC vinyl and polycarbonate, 480 x 480 x 300 centimeters. All images © Liz West, shared with permission

Whether you nestle in a dazzling tunnel in a Georgian church or surround a concrete sidewalk with multicolored ribbons, Liz West transforms every room it approaches into a dynamic field of kaleidoscopic light and shadow. The prolific British artist (before) is known for her large format works that use reflection and refraction to create dazzling immersive environments. West often uses translucent panels and a combination of natural light and LEDs to enhance sensory awareness and reveal the potential of the full spectrum of colors affecting both psychological and physical responses.

To see until August 12th at Canary Wharf in London, “Hymn to the Big Wheel” (see above) is an architectural installation that consists of two concentric octagons that, depending on the position of the viewer, cast layered, jewel-colored shadows. The track takes its name from Massive Attack’s “Hymn Of The Big Wheel” and has what West calls a “sundial effect” that changes how the light flows through the records depending on the time of day.

Other current projects are “Aglow”, which arranged 169 fluorescent bowls in a hexagon outside the Musee Nissim de Camondo in Paris. The individual elements were designed to catch rain which, once it gathered in the base, added an extra layer of color and illusion to the patterned grouping. Similarly deceptive is West’s piece “Presence” from 2021, entitled “Presence” in Christ Church in Macclesfield, which created an indistinct and prismatic path through the historic site that presented the existing architecture through the lens of colored panels.

West is currently working on two permanent installations starting in Salford in August and September, while Hundreds and Thousands (see below) will be dismantled this fall. You can follow their lively constructions on her side and Instagram.

“Aglow” (2018), acrylic, 1,500 x 45 x 1,500 centimeters

“Aglow” (2018), acrylic, 1,500 x 45 x 1,500 centimeters

“Hundreds and Thousands” (2021), pigment-injected polyester, 700 running meters

Excerpt from “Hundreds and Thousands” (2021), pigment-injected polyester, 700 running meters

“Hymn to the Big Wheel” (2021), steel, PVC vinyl and polycarbonate, 480 x 480 x 300 centimeters

“Presence” (2021), metal, dichroic vinyl and polycarbonate, 1,500 x 140 x 300 centimeters

“Our Spectral Vision” (2016), dichroic glass, LEDs and acrylic, 700 x 220 x 40 centimeters

“Presence” (2021), metal, dichroic vinyl and polycarbonate, 1,500 x 140 x 300 centimeters

“Presence” (2021), metal, dichroic vinyl and polycarbonate, 1,500 x 140 x 300 centimeters

#Installation
#Light
# public art
# site-specific

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