Our Colour Reflection by Liz West is now open in the chapter house of Chester Cathedral. Having been exhibited all over the country, the art installation comes to Chester thanks to the efforts of Chester Visual Arts, whose Pop Art in Print in the old library was so successful last year. We spoke to the artist about her background and inspiration for the work.
“I grew up with two parents who were both artists , I went to art school in Glasgow 10 years ago and I now work full time as an artist. I moved to Manchester about 7 years ago and it was probably since then I set a studio up, and focused on it full time. One of the first exhibitions I had was in New York which was amazing”
The inspiration for the artwork is “complex” says Liz. ” Thinking about it simply, two years ago I got funding from Arts Council England to make it from a place in Scunthorpe called the 20-21 Visual Arts centre- its a deconsecrated Church that’s now an art gallery. The curator had seen my work and wanted something using my artificial light which I always use. Light is my medium, I always make work that’s site specific, brightly coloured. This is the first piece I’ve used with natural light as opposed to artificial light.. I made it in that Church and since then its toured , all over the UK, it went to Berlin last summer. It hasn’t always been in Church buildings, but places where the individual discs reflect the architecture. Its right underneath this amazing stained glass window, the pallet of colours was always chosen to reflect medieval stained glass. You see it in all the different hues of puddled colour on the floor. It looks like someone has thrown a lot of confetti on the floor, its landed and its reflecting the space….”
“Secondly it was about getting people to look around more, to get them to be more thoughtful in the space, to get them to see more elements of the architecture that they might not have seen when looking normally. ” Liz enjoyed last years ARK exhibition which saw 90 world class sculptures displayed across the Cathedral and its grounds; “It’s great to follow on from that” she says. Liz also praises the work of Chester Visual Arts (see https://thechesterblog.com/2017/08/04/pop-art-in-print-in-the-old-library/) who have been working for some time to bring art to Chester.
“I adore them! They got in touch a long time ago, we chatted and talked about Chester and what it needs in terms of visual art. I’ve been to symposiums about how to bring contemporary art to Chester. Because I’m based in Manchester , the North West is home territory. This piece of work is one of my best known pieces, but its never been in the North West , it really feels like its coming home. I feel very lucky to display it in the Cathedral. I can’t wait to work with Ian and Cynthia again!”
Liz hopes that visitors will spend time with the art. “The title “Our Colour Reflection” is a bit of a double pun. Its literally reflection, but its also contemplative .. when I first made it I was going through a bad time, so its an important piece to me personally…It looks different everywhere- the piece changes depending on the space. Theres no script to installing it, its an organic process, its almost like a performance or a dance..”
Thanks to Liz West