As an acclaimed visual artist its no wonder one of Liz West’s latest installations strives to surprise with its interconnecting values of light, dark, warmth, hope and enjoyment, for this is exactly what brings to mind when visiting the historic Ordsall Hall in Manchester.
Set in the heart of Salford, this stunning 450 year old Grade 1 listed building is full of beautiful period rooms including a great hall which is majestic in every way imaginable. Situated in two acres of gardens comprising medieval and Tudor plants, they have been lovingly recreated to reflect the various periods of the Hall’s existence.
And this setting is ideal for Liz West’s work considering the sculptural quality of her light installations. ’Vanishing Boundaries’ and ‘An Additive Mix 4’ both come into their own when positioned in the semi-darkness of the attic area, tapping into its unique physical and architectural features. She brings a light-handed sense of visual depth to the old wooden beams and floorboards, playfully refracting light through using translucent, transparent and reflective materials, directing the flow of artificial light across multiple directions.
It’s a great way for the public to see an old, traditional building turn into one which embraces the new, using technology and therefore delivering a playful experience into its fold.
‘Coloured Interval’ not only spans the upper section of the 16th century roof space but also has an additional exhibition area showcasing Liz West’s drawings. They complement the two main installations and offer an interesting insight into how she uses colour, and a mixture of opaque film, to disrupt the white flatness of paper. My personal favourites therefore are the translucent vinyl pieces particularly ‘Within Close Intervals’ and ‘Vanishing Boundaries 1’ with its flat, circular aluminium discs with spray paint. They all have a sense of the clear and concise about them, highlighting an architectural preciseness which embodies all her work.
(Liz West also has another band new public art installation in-situ at Spinningfields, Manchester titled ‘Through No.3’ until 6th January 2016)
On until 31st January 2016
Ordsall Lane, Salford, Manchester, M5 3AN
* Some reference material was taken from ‘Liz West: in conversation with Derek Horton’