Barnaby Bright presents Liz West’s Presence in grade II* Christ Church Macclesfield

Presence is a new large-scale, site-specific commission by Liz West that will be situated in grade II* listed Christ Church on Bridge Street in Macclesfield.

Liz West is a British visual artist based in the North West, who creates works combining the phenomena of colour and light to create a sensory experience.

Presence will transform the space taking the form of a tunnel, created from iridescent dichroic panels creating a kaleidoscopic artery down the centre of the church.

The tunnel, which will be made up of 450 squares covered in the colour transmitting dichroic film, will be open at one end to allow visitors to walk in it and become immersed in the work. One side of the tunnel will feature cool colours ranging from purples through to greens and blues and on the other they will be warm corals, pinks and yellows.

Liz West says: “ I want my work to be arresting and for viewers to be present in the moment and immersed in the work, responding to colour and light again and removed from the everyday.”

There are five considerations that West considers when making work and they are; creating vivid colour; mixing luminous light; creating an immersive experience; ensuring the work responds to the environment; and to create a sensory experience for the viewer.

“For Presence, I started by looking at the aisle of the church. It is a physical parade consisting of a tunnel that is three metres tall and 14 metres long.

“When you stand at the end of the tunnel you can look up at the stained glass windows through the wall of colour making a meditative and spiritual experience.”

The reflective and refractive nature of the material will project coloured light across the entire space, helping to reveal parts of the architecture that would otherwise be missed.

Liz West is returning to Barnaby this summer as alumni as she previously exhibited in 2013 with her work Consumed. Using found, discarded and recycled consumables, such as bottles, which were arranged to resemble a scape of detritus and were presented in illuminated acrylic cases. Consumed was located in a disused shop in The Grosvenor Centre.

Liz says: “It is great to be coming back to Macclesfield. My work has developed a lot since I first exhibited here. I also have a better understanding of the town and the dynamism the area has to offer.

“It’s on the edge of the Peak District National Park with everything from bakeries to breweries and an interesting artistic community.

“Barnaby has presented work from quality International artists over the last ten years and it is great to be part of that.”

Dr Abi Gilmore, Co Chair Of Barnaby Festival, said: “We are so thrilled to be able to present Liz West’s work in the beautiful Christ Church in the heart of Macclesfield.

“We couldn’t ask more from a Barnaby arts commission than to provide people with a transcending immersive experience from such a brilliant and internationally renowned artist, just at the moment in midsummer when we are able to come back together, reflect and celebrate the arts and heritage of our town.

Visitors will be able to see Presence at Christ Church, Bridge Street in Macclesfield from June 17 to June 27.

Presence will be free and open to the public:

June 18th, 19th, 20th 25th, 26th, 27th from 12noon to 20.00
June 17th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th from 16.00 to 20.00

15-minute timeslots can be booked online here

The Presence Artist talk where Liz talks about the ideas and inspiration behind the creation of her artwork is on Sat 26 June costing £5 and can be booked hereThere will be time for viewing the installation before and after the talk.

Image Credits Travelling Simon