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29th February 2020 – 28th March 2020

Our Colour Wheel

Please paint me a colour wheel...

Click here to view a PDF version of the brief.

What: Please paint me a colour wheel… In conjunction with the exhibition Colour-ways: Light Works by Liz West we’d like to invite artists, creatives, family, friends, colour enthusiasts, curators, designers, architects, researchers and academics from Cheltenham to paint an interpretation of a traditional colour wheel.

Why: Our Colour Wheel is an ongoing project initiated by artist Liz West. West is interested in human visual perception, particularly colour perception and how we all see and experience colour differently. West is asking invited participants to paint her their own interpretation of a traditional colour wheel (a pedagogical tool which has been at the foundation of her practice), with the aim to illustrate our different perceptions of colour, how it is arranged and how we individually see and interpret colour. This series is part of her ongoing research into colour theory, human perception and light. The resulting collection of paintings will be exhibited together as a series in identical frames.

Colour, as Josef Albers astutely observed, ‘deceives continually (1)’. As I last observed on a laborious train journey, the seat before me, I would argue, is a faded medium vermillion red, in line with the train operator’s corporate identity. However the man adjacent to me, who appears lost in a daydream, may insist that the seat is in fact, cadmium orange. Who is right? Clearly, this anecdote is rooted in Albers’ assertion that colour evokes innumerable readings. Ultimately, our interaction with colour is a subjective experience, one that is both perceptive and cognitive. – Jack Welsh, extract from ‘SCHAUEN – The work of Liz West’ (2013)

1.Josef Albers, Interaction of Color, (London: Yale University Press, 1963)

How: Paint your own interpretation of a traditional colour wheel. Please use good quality white paper. Your colour wheel can be painted depending on how you interpret exactly what a colour wheel is (i.e segmented, gradation, etc).

When: Please return to The Wilson Art Gallery & Museum by Saturday 28 March 5pm.

Who: This invitation is open to past and present residents of Cheltenham.

Instructions on what to do:

  • Please mix your own colours using only red, blue, yellow and white pigment (Please mix as many colours as you need or want from the above list)Use any type of paint or ink you wish
  • Annotate the painting if you feel suitable
  • Your colour wheel can be any size within the constraints of a 29.5cm x 29.5cm piece of white paper
  • A minimum diameter of 15cm for the colour wheel is necessary
  • Please do not sign the artwork on the front

* Stretching the paper is optional

Please send your painting in a sturdy flat package to the following address or in-person with a signed cover letter so it is obvious whom the painting is from. Send to:

Sophia Wilson, The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum, Clarence Street, Cheltenham, GL50 3JT

Outcomes: A selection of the entries will be framed and displayed in the exhibition Colour-ways. Your name will not be put directly alongside the work, instead your name will be added to a list of artists on any accompanying information panel, leaving an open interpretation as to who painted each wheel.

This is an ongoing project and all entries will be kept by Liz West as part of her research into how we interpret the colour wheel.

Please note: This call out consents to the exhibition rights and digital reproductions (for promotional use only – not for resale or prints) of any painting made under the title Our Colour Wheel by Liz West.

About Liz West: Liz West creates vivid environments that mix luminous colour and radiant light. Working across a variety of mediums, West aims to provoke a heightened sensory awareness in the viewer through her works. She is interested in exploring how sensory phenomena can invoke psychological and physical responses that tap into our own deeply entrenched relationships to colour.

West’s investigation into the relationship between colour and light is often realised through an engagement between materiality and a given site. Within physical and architectural space, West uses light as a material that radiates outside of its boundaries and containers. She playfully refracts light through using translucent, transparent or reflective materials, directing the flow of artificial and natural light. Our understanding of colour can only be realised through the presence of light. By playing and adjusting colour, West brings out the intensity and composition of her spatial arrangements.

Liz West is a British artist (b.1985) who graduated from Fine Art Sculpture & Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art in 2007. Recent commissions and solo exhibitions include: Colour and Vision: Through the Eyes of Nature, Natural History Museum, London, 2016; Solstice Ritual, Penarth Pier Pavilion, Penarth, 2015; Our Colour Reflection, 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe, 2016; Through No. 3, Spinningfields, Manchester, 2015; An Additive Mix, National Media Museum, Bradford, 2015. In 2015 Liz received an Emerging Artist Bursary Award from the Royal British Society of Sculptors. In 2016 she was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize and the Lighting Design Awards’ Light Project of the Year.

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