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2nd December 2015

Review: Through No. 3 by Liz West

Castlefield Gallery provides Spinningfields with a mesmerising piece of public artwork

2015 has been a great year for Liz West, having been one of the stars of Castlefield Gallery’s ‘New Art Spaces’ at Federation House, she is now beginning to gain national and international attention. Fighting off five other candidates for this new collaboration between CG and Allied London, West has been embraced by the agency style approach that CG operate within the city, and hopefully this will be the first in a series of new public artworks in a city with a flourishing art scene.

Through No. 3 is best enjoyed as an interactive experience. It is one thing to see it or to take a photograph, but another thing entirely to walk through it. In fact, walking through it is so completely different, it is staggering. This is why it has such a mesmerising effect; it allows the viewer to reset all expectations and engage with a completely uncontaminated experience. The light shines through the colour blocks in playful ways, offering patterns on the floor, on the walls and on myself. The choice of colours hints at an almost primitive playfulness, and I’m reminded of a toy I had as a child: A bunch of chunky semi-translucent rings on a hoop with, if my memory recalls, the same colours that are at play here. There’s something fundamentally exciting about the primitive enjoyment of an interactive experience of colour and light—your inner child will love it!

The brief for this commission called for a work that was bold, innovative and reflective of the environment of modern architecture in Spinningfields. Through No. 3 definitely provides this and more. It will be a shame when it is removed because it adds character, energy and artistic vibrancy to an area known for concrete, glass towers and finance. Let’s just hope this is the start of some new collaborations between the city’s thriving businesses and growing contemporary art community. Multi-million pound Northern Powerhouse venues are one thing, grass roots collaborative societies are another thing entirely.

Open Daily: 25th of November 2015 to Wednesday the 6th of January 2016

Located: Crown Square, Spinningfields, Manchester.

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