Four Interviews/ Liz West

Cornerhouse young curators Alex Leigh, Liz Gibson and Neetu Roy interview artist Liz West, whose new installation The predicament of in here and out there  appears in our upcoming exhibition Four.

Tell me about your new commission
The predicament of in here and out there is a modified second-hand wardrobe; the viewer is encouraged to glimpse through the doors. Inside, they will see an endless expanse of yellow objects, glimmering and enticing closer inspection.

Your practice spans photography, installation and video work, but always involves bright, saturated colour. What is it about colour that interests you?
For as long as I remember I have always been fascinated with colour. It is an innate passion of mine that I cannot define. I am often mesmerised and pulled towards arrangements of colourful things, both man-made and natural. It is always the saturate, brash, bright shades that I am most excited by rather than the more subtle tones in the spectrum.

To make your new commission you’ve used a large collection of yellow objects. Where do you source the objects from? How many objects have you collected for this piece?
I source the objects from all around: I buy them, find them and steal them from my friends. I am continually collecting objects of all colours to use in my work. The yellow objects that will feature in this piece have been recycled from previous works. I have around 200 yellow objects in total. I have around the same amount of each colour.

The objects within your work are ordered in a very precise way. Why did you start working like this and is this sense of order reflected in your personal life?
It was a natural progression in my practice and, as an art student, a final realisation of my interests (both personal and artistic), that lead me to use colour coordination and ordering within my work. I am naturally a very organised person. I like making lists and having my belongings neatly arranged, I find it easier to live this way.

Do you have a favourite colour?
My favourite colour changes depending on the piece of work I am making. I like yellow at the moment. I liked orange four months ago!

Why does your work typically reference domestic scenarios?
I love being a home-maker and hostess. I enjoy making my friends and family happy by feeding and entertaining them. This is a huge part of my life and therefore finds itself in my work in the form of domestic scenarios, spaces and objects.

How important is it that your work is easily interpreted? Is it necessary for the viewer to know anything about art, or can it be taken at face value?
I would like my work to be accessible to anybody. As well as having an underlying concept I also have a wish to make beautiful, well crafted things. I believe my work could appeal to an art audience as well as the man off the street as there is something for everyone.

How do you feel about working with young curators?
Excited. I wish I could have been given an opportunity like the young curators project. I am impressed by the professionalism and proficiency that has been shown.

As young curators, we’d like to know what influenced you when you were our age, so 17/18?
Ten years ago I was influenced by the same things as I am now: strong women, pop culture, saturate colour, intriguing spaces and making collections. I often took delight in coming across new experiences and documenting these, mostly through photography.

What else are you working on/what’s coming next?
I have some exciting commissions lined up for 2013, which I can’t say too much about at the moment, but keep your eyes peeled!

Four previews on Fri 25 January in Gallery 1. The exhibition runs until Sun 24 February.