The last week has been crazy! I haven’t even had a chance to blog!
On Tuesday (27th Jan) I started installing my new site-specific chromatic light work Your Colour Perception at Castlefield Gallery’s New Art Spaces Federation House on it’s vast fourth floor gallery space. It opened just 3 days later on Friday 30th Jan.
Those three days were hard work, spending the whole time up ladders, wrapping cellulose theatre gels around each individual fluorescent bulb in a huge 5000 square foot space. There were hundreds of them…
I decided to begin with blue at the outwardly facing end of the room, reason being; as the day turns into night there is a 20 minute slot when the sky turns an amazing luminous sapphire. I wanted the work to extend out of the space and into the sky at this special time of day.
After decided which colour (either green or indigo) to continue into, I cracked on with my installation, moving from one colour to the next throughout the entire space, until it was full of chromatic and saturate light.
On Thursday evening I finished install and spent Friday tidying up, and having time to go clothes shopping with my mum.
Your Colour Perception incorporated all 5000 square feet of Castlefield Gallery’s New Art Spaces Federation House fourth floor in Manchester. The work was developed in direct response to the space prior. West reacted to the architectural space using colour and light to create vast immersive installation art.
Within this work, West was interested in the influence and perception of luminous colour in architectural space and on visitors experiencing it. West transformed Federation House into a sensory, visceral experience by overloading it with artificial chromatic light in which to test the psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual responses visitors experience during their encounter.
This work utilises the darkness outside to raise the strength of the illumination and colouration in the work. Using this enormous space to install a light work in the darkest Winter months allowed the colour to bleed with more saturation than if displayed any other time of the year.
At 6pm the doors to the space opened (via a phone number people had a ring on the door downstairs to gain entry into the building) and people started trickling in. A healthy 130 people turned up to my preview and I had some wonderful and meaningful conversations about your colour perception, how it affected people mentally, emotionally, psychically and even spiritually. Other’s seemed to be having similar conversations as well as spending time dancing, walking slowly, running, sitting and meditating in the space.
The work is extremely photogenic – I know that! Visitors started taking photographs of the work (which even looked good on a camera phone) and sending them to their friends, family and sharing on social media. I went to bed that night feeling happy and content, not aware of the success and buzz I had created…
Until… until we were on out way into the space on Saturday. The phone number was still fixed to Federation House outside door and our phone was already ringing with people wanting to get in to see what all the fuss was about. I opened from 2-8pm both Saturday and Sunday, making the most of the darker winter nights.
I should add that normally I am not keen on letting images of my work circulate before the exhibition is over, but on this occasion it helped. People wanted the experience of being inside this magical colour, the opportunity to feel what it might be like to walk around inside a rainbow!
I expected 10 people each day, as is the norm for that type of space. By 8pm we had seen over 80 people come and feel/see/play in my work. People were excited by it.
In the afternoon pop star Miley Cyrus had seen a photo of my new work via someone she knew and had started following me on Instagram and my phone was alight with new followers, something was stirring…
On Sunday the same happened again, phone was ringing on our way in. An unprecedented 160+ people showed up to bask in Your Colour Perception. Gallery people, scientists, families, students, and people of every walk of life traveled from all over the country to see and experience it whilst they still could after seeing pictures of the work on the internet.
On Sunday evening we (me and my husband) started de-installing, it took just 2 hours for it all to be cleared away – mind you, it was a backbreaking and very intense 2 house. We finished our day by indulging in a take away pizza and chips. Perfect!
Since, the work has started to pop up all over the internet, on social media and blogs. People are still asking if its open… sadly its not. Miss it, miss out!
As the title suggests, Your Colour Perception belongs to the audience. It is triggered by the viewer. The work needs people to activate it. It came alive!