Liz West is a British artist (b.1985) who graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2007. West’s broad body of work encompasses wall-based artwork, sculpture, and site-specific installations.
West creates vivid environments that mix luminous colour and radiant light. West aims to provoke a heightened sensory awareness in the viewer through her works. She is interested in exploring how sensory phenomena can invoke psychological and physical responses that tap into our own deeply entrenched relationships to colour. West's investigation into the relationship between colour and light is often realised through an engagement between materiality and a given site. Our understanding of colour can only be realised through the presence of light. By playing and adjusting colour, West brings out the intensity and composition of her spatial arrangements.
West has been commissioned worldwide by institutions and organisations including Natural History Museum, National Trust, National Science and Media Museum, Natural England, Allied London, Grosvenor, British Land, Leftcoast, Bloc Projects, Salford University, Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Eden Arts and Bristol Biennial. West's work has been included in exhibitions with Chester Cathedral, Compton Verney, Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces, Cornerhouse, Brunel University, Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre, UK Young Artists and Royal British Society of Sculptors in the UK, as well as internationally at Kraftwerk Berlin and The Invisible Dog in New York. Permanent works are sited in London, Manchester and Bury. Her work has been widely published including by Wallpaper*, FRAME Magazine, Dezeen, The Creator's Project, Design Boom, Huffington Post, Colossal, Thames & Hudson, The World of Interiors, The Times and The Independent.
What was your latest book discovery? What are your favorite books of all time?
I currently adore the School of Life books. They offer realistic, sound and philosophical advice as well as being an interesting read on the human condition. As I make experiential work for people to be immersed within, I think it is important to learn and research about how we behave and interpret the world.
I don't have a favourite all time book. Because I am slightly dyslexic, I do struggle to read and therefore have not encountered many of the 'classics' or amount of publications many other might have done.
Most visited blogs, websites?
I am always searching for inspiration so never settle on one particular site. I spread my net far and wide (this also helps when looking for new materials). I often get stuck down the Google Image Search wormhole/blackhole. One thing leads me to another and I try to bookmark the most interesting as I go.
What apps do you use the most and why?
A huge part of my job is communication, so apps that allow for quick and effective chat is helpful, especially when travelling or working away. I use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger a lot. Instagram is my favourite social media platform as it is image lead and again, often leads me to something unexpected but brilliant.
Whats currently on your playlist?
What records would you recommend to hear?
All the above!
Fresh movie finds? What films do you think everybody should watch?
I don't have time to watch films, what a luxury! I juggle running a studio/art practice, I have a 21 month toddler, a project house to do up, and lots of friends and family to see. I wish I could get to the cinema more, I love the multi sensory experience.
As I grew up in South Yorkshire, I have always loved Brassed Off and The Full Monty. I hate horror films, I refuse to watch them.
Which artists working today do you admire most?
The work of artists who use the mediums of colour and light in combination have resonated and influenced me the most, These works have had a direct effect on the scale, ambition and form of my work. Robert Irwin, Dan Flavin, James Turrell, Carlos Cruz-Diez, David Batchelor, Ann Veronica Janssens, Anthony McCall and Olafur Eliasson; these are just a few of the artists who particularly inspire me. Of all the artists, for me J. M. W. Turner remains the father of light art.
What are some of your tv top tips right now?
I don't have time to watch TV!!!! I wish. When trying to run a self-employed business on your own there are unfortunately some things you have to sacrifice, this is one.
Who are you following?
My brother and sister-in-law's pottery business @Pottery_West.
Other inspirational, young, female colour creatives: @Kitty_Joseph, @RanaBegumStudio, @FreaBuckler and @Elodie.Boutry to name a few.
I also love following galleries, interior and lifestyle blogs including @themodernhouse, @yspsculpture and @art.impact
What magazines / newspapers do you read regularly?
I love FRAME magazine in-particular. I am very fortunate to receive lots of art/design/architecture magazines from around the world, it would be hard to name them all.
What are the things you cannot live without?
Conversations with real people, music, my friends and their wonderful and generous advice, good food prepared from scratch, beautiful objects that I life around, light (pouring in through my windows or intelligent artificial light) and my camera.
ARTICLE INFO & CREDITS
Portrait image by © Daniel Walmsley