Liz West's rainbow installation shines a light at London's Natural History Museum

British artist Liz West – featured previously – has created a new light installation, Our Spectral Vision, for the exhibition Colour and Vision: Through the Eyes of Nature presented at the Natural History Museum in London, until 6 November 2016.

The artwork invites us to explore our relationship with colour and our understanding of how we see it. Creating a vivid environment that mixes luminous colour and radiant light, rays from every colour of the rainbow beam through seven prisms made from special colour filter glass, offering an atmospheric illusion that will stimulate your visual perception of colour.

It's considered to be an interpretation of and inspired by Issac Newton’s experiment with disassembling and reassembling white light into the visible colour spectrum using prisms. Liz explains: "The iridescent patterns and colourings present on the birds, insects and animals in the Natural History Museum collection have inspired the variety and selection of colours in this artwork. The science behind the natural processes of colour researched here at the Museum has provided the backbone for my work."

Liz studied at The Glasgow School of Art, graduating with a BA (Hons) Sculpture and Environmental Art in 2007. Previous large-scale works have included Your Colour Perception in Manchester, An Additive Mix at the National Media Museum and Our Colour Reflection at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe and St. Mark’s in Mayfair.

Recent months have seen her shortlisted for the Light Art Project of the Year at Lighting Design Awards, the annual Aesthetica Art Prize and receiving a Bursary Award from the Royal Society of British Sculptors as well as completing a major outdoor public commission in the Spinningfields district of Manchester. Discover more at And make sure you watch the video below, courtesy of the Natural History Museum.


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