Thursday, 26 May 2016

Light Art: Liz West at the Aesthetica Prize Exhibition

Last week, I finally went to visit the new Aesthetica Art Prize 2016 Exhibition organised by the Aesthetica Magazine in York which features ten shortlisted artists from around the globe. This text is a personal account of my interactions with one of the artworks exhibited: Shifting Luminosity by Liz West.

Shifting Luminosity, Liz West (2016)
Shifting Luminosity, Liz West (2016)

The art work is located in the crypt of St Mary's, a former church which is now a contemporary art space. This well-thought setting creates a strange atmosphere, from a dark corridor to the revelation of light. The location adds a new meaning to the artwork, the Christian conception of light as revelation. Lights help us to see what is unseen, this oxymoron describes perfectly the work of Liz West. You have the sharp LED light mixed with the tender pastel colours, themselves defined by dark lines.

Shifting Luminosity, Liz West (2016)
Shifting Luminosity, Liz West (2016)

The artwork itself is a composition of bright colours and black lines. The bright side of the lights are facing the wall, creating a canvas of lines and colours for the viewer. It reminded me of modernist artworks, how not to think about Piet Mondrian, but also of Juan Miró. The Spanish artists plays with colours and forms to create composition of splash of colour and lines intertwined on the canvas.

The Smile of the Flamboyant Wing, Joan Miró (1953), Museuo National Del Arte (Madrid)
The Smile of the Flamboyant Wing, Joan Miró (1953), Museuo National Del Arte (Madrid)

This playful and open interpretation is what I was interested in both artists, West and Miró. The lines are firm but not rigid, and the colours are fun and yet nostalgic. The nostalgia of Liz West's is made clear by the title "Shifting Luminosity", something is changing, what you see does no longer exist. One second you see a colour then it is gone replaced by another one. The play of 2D and 3D is always very interesting, you can either perceive the artwork as a canvas, a painting of light, or as an installation with big black and rigid sticks of light.

Shifting Luminosity, Liz West (2016) Details
Shifting Luminosity, Liz West (2016) Detail

Hope you enjoyed this quick text on my personal interaction with this artwork. Art is not only reserved to "connoisseur" and everyone is allowed and should write about their own feelings and experiences, nothing or no one is wrong or right.

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