Liz West, Jemma Appleby
Daniel Benjamin Gallery is pleased to present LUCE, a conversation between two UK-based artists and their exploration of the intricate relationship between architecture and light and the human responses these two invoke. Together Liz West’s and Jemma Appleby’s works unravel the ways in which we conceive the spaces we inhabit by heightening our awareness and experience of light.
On the ground floor, a light installation by British artist Liz West occupies the whole room. Renowned for creating vivid and sensory environments through her manipulation of light, Liz West’s Our Spectral Vision replicates the process of diverting white light through large-scale prisms. The viewers are encouraged to submerge in the rich, saturated light that drenches the room with colour. Commissioned by the Natural History Museum and made from dichroic glass – a material that changes tone accordingly to the viewer’s position– the work comprises seven, psychedelic vertical prisms that visitors are invited to interact with, watching the colours dance inside. West explains the “understanding of colour can only be realised through the presence of light”, and with Our Spectral Vision the seven visible parts of the colour spectrum transforms the gallery space into a realm of imagination and exploration.
On the lower ground floor, a series of new artworks by London based artist Jemma Appleby offers new perspectives on architectural forms and our concept of space. Appleby grinds black charcoal and applies it on paper with her bare hands in a unique creative process that allows for no mistakes.
In each of her hypnotising drawings, only parts of the buildings are shown, suggesting that the architecture is not the focus point but an accessory to the protagonist of the work, the light. As Appleby herself acknowledges, the artworks “amplify each environment’s simplicity and purity with an aim of clarification. These clean minimal spaces offer little information yet have an authority to describe a magnitude.”
While West’s captivating work arrests attention as visitors watch the ever-changing colours inside the colourful bands of light, Appleby’s serene drawings on the lower ground floor offer a moment of reflection, subtly reminding that light has the power to mask and reveal at its own discretion.
Jemma Appleby (b. 1987) is a British artist who graduated from City and Guilds of London Art School. Her works have been shown in the UK, Italy, Colombia, Belgium, Spain and France, in exhibitions such as; the Summer Exhibitions at Royal Academy of Arts curated by Grayson Perry (2018) and by Michael Craig-Martin (2015); Architecture As Metaphor, with Phyllida Barlow, Rachel Whiteread, and Richard Deacon at the Griffin Gallery, LA.CU.NA at LAMB Arts, curated group exhibition at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery and Southampton City Art Gallery. Her works are featured in the permanent collections of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Macaulay Library in Kent, Royal West of England Academy and Hartnett Holder & Co., alongside private collections in Europe, USA, Saudi Arabia and Asia. She is the recipient of The Arts Club Prize for Finest Drawing at the National Art Competition in 2010, Royal Society of British Artists residency award at The British School at Rome, Chateau de Blavou Residency in Normandie and The Haworth Trust Award for Painting.
Liz West (b. 1985) is a British artist who graduated from Glasgow School of Art and whose body of work encompasses site-specific installations, sculpture, and wall-based artwork. Liz West has been commissioned worldwide by institutions and organisations including Natural History Museum, National Trust, National Science and Media Museum, London Design Festival, Natural England, Allied London, Grosvenor, British Land, Salford University, Leftcoast, Allenheads Contemporary Arts and Bristol Biennial. West's work has been included in exhibitions with St Albans Museum + Gallery, University of Hertfordshire, Chester Cathedral, Compton Verney, Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces, Cornerhouse, Brunel University, Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre, UK Young Artists and Royal British Society of Sculptors in the UK, as well as internationally in Italy, Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, India and USA. In March 2020, Liz West will have a solo exhibition at The Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum.
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