Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Following her exceptional Hundreds and Thousands installation at London’s Greenwich Peninsula earlier this year, British artist Liz West has unveiled a shimmering kaleidoscopic tunnel of colour and light at a church in Macclesfield.

The piece, known as Presence, is part of Barnaby Festival this month and has been installed inside Christ Church in the northern town. Essentially, it’s a 15 metre-long tunnel, made up of hundreds of colour transmitting dichroic panels, running the whole length of the church aisle. Open-ended in its structure, you’ll be able to walk inside it and become immersed in the artwork.

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Featuring cool colours such as purples through to greens and blues on one side, there’ll be warmer tones of corals, pinks and yellows on the other. “I want viewers to be present in the moment and immersed within the work, temporarily removed from the clamour of everyday life,” West tells Creative Boom. “The parade and spectacle of walking down an aisle inspired the form of Presence. Creating a one-way tunnel helps direct and choreograph the visitor’s experience of Christ Church by enveloping them in this luminous tunnel and placing them in position as performer within the work.”

But the piece adds, rather than takes away. The reflective and refractive nature of the material projects coloured light across the entire space, helping to reveal parts of the church’s architecture that would otherwise be missed. As West explains: “When you stand at the end of the installation you can look up at the impressive and historical stained glass windows through the wall of colour making a meditative and spiritual experience.”

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Liz West, Presence – Macclesfield, Christ Church – Barnaby Festival 2021. Photography by Travelling Simon

Presence by Liz West will launch on 17 June 2021 at Christ Church in Macclesfield and will remain open to the public throughout the rest of the month. Commissioned by Barnaby Festival, you can get tickets and further details about Presence at barnabyfestival.org.uk.

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