Liz West Uses Light as an Art Tool

Award-winning visual artist Liz West is known for creating vivid installations that mix luminous color and radiant light. Having graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2007, the British artist has since explored through ow sensory phenomena can invoke psychological and physical responses that tap into our own deeply entrenched relationships to color. The result is strangely nostalgic, evoking early memories about light and color.

According to West, this exploration indeed stems from her childhood. “Most of my earliest memories as a child were of discovering the world in a sensory capacity,” she explained in an interview with Young Artists in Conversation. “I was attracted to objects, land and city scapes, spaces and fashion that were made of vibrant colors, the brightest tones, and hues and of strong saturation,” she recalls.

A key element in her work is the ethereal relationship between color and light. “I believe that understanding of color can only be realised through the presence of light,” says West. Using light as a tool, she fills architectural spaces or fabricated structures which immerse the viewer in a rich, saturated environment.

Her art, which spans site-specific installations, sculptures, and wall-based artwork, has been commissioned worldwide by renowned institutions and organizations that include the Natural History Museum, London Design Festival, Natural England, and Bristol Biennial.

“For me, the two mediums of color and light are inextricably connected,” she stresses. “I am not attracted to surface color like I am to luminous color, hence not being a traditional painter. Subjective mixtures of colors are core to my understanding of color and have helped shape the backbone of my practice, but it is my ongoing investigations into additive mixtures that inspire my work.”

The end result is often magical. Take a look.