Slow Revolution: Towers that glow-in-the-dark, a new artwork by Liz West

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Slow Revolution: Towers that glow-in-the-dark, a new artwork by Liz West
Slow Revolution is a new permanent large-scale sculptural artwork, developed site-specifically for the centre of medieval Salford, UK. Photo: Charles Emerson.

SALFORD.- Slow Revolution is a new permanent large-scale sculptural artwork by artist Liz West, developed site-specifically for Greengate, Salford. The work comprises of individual prismatic triangles covered in luminescent reflective colours and stacked to form geometric columns, spanning across the building to create an optically vibrant and kaleidoscopic installation.

Made of 56 triangular prisms, each set apart at a 5 degree angle, Slow Revolution is a glowing series of 8 towering beacons that appear to playfully twist and rotate as the viewer moves in front of the work, therefore prompting a shifting dialogue between the audience and space. The slow revolution of triangles produces the sensation of gradual movement across the expanse of the sculpture, enlivening its surroundings and encouraging movement through the Greengate corridor.

During the Industrial Revolution, positioned across the River Irwell from Manchester’s cotton mills, were Salford’s dye works which formed a major part of the regions manufacturing landscape. Using industrial and vibrantly coloured materials to pay homage the areas heritage, this monumental work is constructed from steel and aluminium and clothed in swathe of retro-reflecting colour. Retro-reflective material is an unplugged phenomenon made with tens of thousands of tiny glass beads that reflect light and send a focused image directly back to the original light source. Slow Revolution self-illuminates when a direct light source is projected onto the surface of the artwork both in the daytime and in the dark, acting as a multicoloured signpost and vibrant gateway into Salford.

Slow Revolution is sited within the confines of the historic Greengate Triangle, an area that dates back to the medieval settlement of Salford. The use of multiple triangular forms within the artwork helps ground the work to its site and references the areas past.

“The City Council is delighted that ‘Slow Revolution’ – an incredible large-scale permanent sculptural artwork by NorthWest based artist Liz West – will be installed in the heart of the Greengate area. Comprising a glowing series of beacons that appear to twist and rotate as viewers move around the work, the installation has been developed specifically for the site, which sits adjacent to the Select Properties Embankment West development designed by CallisonRTKL (CRTKL). Slow Revolution sits within the historic Greengate Triangle area, which dates back to the medieval settlement of Salford. The use of multiple triangular forms within the artwork plays homage to the areas past, while its vibrant and energetic form and use of colour perfectly captures the dynamic nature of the Greengate area today, which is the focus of significant development and growth. This world class installation provides a high quality new gateway into Greengate and demonstrates the value of the City Council working in close collaboration with the private sector and local creatives to drive quality placemaking across the City Centre.” - Councillor McCusker, Executive Support for Housing, Planning and Sustainable Development at Salford City Council.

The work is part of an ongoing series of spatial light works based upon research into colour theory and light fields whereby West has transformed architectural spaces and public environments. Slow Revolution by Liz West, is a new permanent site-specific work commissioned by Salford City Council.

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