Colour, light, space: Liz West brings first major solo art exhibition Chroma to Manchester’s BLANKSPACE gallery

By Claire Holden & Ian Silvera

A Manchester artist is set to celebrate her ambitious new work at BLANKSPACE gallery next month.

Liz West will bring colour, light and space together in her newest exhibition Chroma which will run from July 6 – 29.

Manchester-born Liz began accumulating coloured objects from the age of seven when she started collecting bottles of bright nail varnish and arranging them in the order of the spectrum on her bedroom windowsill.

So began  an obsession which over the last twenty years has seen her collect a huge variety of purely coloured objects.

Liz said that she proposed the idea of exhibiting her work as a solo artist over eighteen months ago to Blank Media Collective.

“I was extremely excited and enthusiastic about the idea of exhibiting new site-specific work in such an interesting gallery space.

“I have discussed lots of different ideas for new work and I hope the three pieces that I will be exhibiting will be worth the eighteen-month wait,” she said.

Artistic creativity is something that runs in the family as both Liz’s parents are practising artists and teach on Fine Art degrees and foundation courses.

She said: “My mum was Artist in Residence at Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery while pregnant with me, meaning art has always been in my blood.

“When I was younger I was encouraged to be creative in one way or another. Cooking was one creative outlet for me, as was making miniature objects for my beloved dolls house.

“I spent hours modelling using my dad’s clay and casting in plaster, making collages with brightly coloured papers, glue and glitter and spending time in my parent’s studios while they worked.”

Not only have Liz’s parents been a great influence on her work, but also many other sensory artists.

She said: “Contemporary artists using light, colour and space are the ones that inspire me the most including David Batchelor, James Turrell, Olafur Eliason, Dan Flavin and Spencer Finch.

“Other inspirations include the bright, brash colours used in pop culture, stage costumes and music videos.”

Liz hopes that visitors will enjoy the varied and colourful exhibition, she said: “Visitors will be stimulated by the playful and richly coloured installations that they will be able to interact with, both psychically and visually.

“It is a treat for the senses, visitors will hopefully take with them a sensory experience induced by the powerful nature of colour.”

Blank Media Collective Lead Curator, Kate Charlton said: “Chroma will be a great start to the summer as this playful and colourful exhibition transforms BLANKSPACE like never before.

“Whether you are trained in the visual arts or just know what you like, this free exhibition is sure to trigger the imagination.”

Following Liz’s successful group exhibitions nationally and internationally, including Northern Futures Awards 2010 (People’s Choice Winner) and the Celeste Art Prize (New York), she has now received an Arts Council England award to support Chroma, allowing brand new work to be brought into reality.

Liz said: “I am thrilled about my solo exhibition taking place at BLANKSPACE gallery, as I am now at a point in my artistic career where I feel eager and ready to develop more ambitious, large scale work.”

Chroma is curated by Blank Media Collective and is supported by Arts Council England, ASK Developments, Sandbar and Full Circle Arts.

Admission to the exhibition will be free, and will run from July 6 – 29.

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