Peter Liversidge: Midsummer Snowstorm 2009
Midsummer Snowstorm was a fabricated snowstorm that took place on 21 June 2009 (Midsummer’s Day). A 500-yard section of the Jupiter Artland was covered in pulled paper whilst potato starch based ‘snowflakes’ seemingly fell from the sky, giving visitors the impression that they were entering into a snowstorm.
Between 1 December 2008 and 31 January 2009, Liversidge submitted one hundred and thirty four proposals for Jupiter Artland, spanning a hugely ambitious range of projects. The typewritten proposals, given the collective title Jupiter Proposals, form part of Jupiter Artland’s permanent collection and have been published as an artist’s book of the same name.
Three of the proposals – including Midsummer Snowstorm – were given material existence and are now part of Jupiter Artland’s permanent collection. The other proposals in the collection are Signpost to Jupiter and Winter Shadow.
Midsummer Snowstorm is ‘proposal 3’ within Peter Liversidge’s Jupiter Proposals. It was one of the artist’s most outlandish proposals and was brought to life with the help of twelve snow machines. The snowstorm was situated so that it is not visible from the main entrance gate – as noted by Liversidge, “it was important that the snow was discovered on the way to somewhere else.” For the eight hours that Jupiter Artland was open that day, visitors walked, cycled and drove through the snow on their way to explore the works in the landscape.
“If it can snow on June 21, in twenty-six-degree heat, a few miles outside of Edinburgh, then what else is possible from the group of Jupiter Proposals?”
No single category or definition can successfully describe Peter Liversidge’s extraordinarily diverse practice which includes work in almost every conceivable medium: drawing, film, performance, painting, photography, installations and editions/multiples. The subjects of his work can seem equally diverse – from an enduring obsession with the North Montana Plains (a place he has never visited) to a fascination with logos and luxury goods, and a preponderance for subverting our ideas about ‘Nature’ with his use of taxidermied birds and casts of natural objects in incongruous materials, all united by an underlying streak of dark, absurdist humour, and a gently persistent questioning of things.
Liversidge has exhibited widely in Britain and Europe, with exhibitions as part of the Europalia Festival of Arts organised by the British Council in Brussels and at the Centre d’Art Santa Monica in 2008. Liversidge exhibited in ‘The Fifth Floor – Ideas Taking Place’ at Tate Liverpool from December 2008-February 2009. In 2009 Liversidge will also participate in ‘New Programme’, the new curatorial initiative at Bloomberg Space, London, consisting entirely of newly commissioned work. In 2010 he will create a substantial installation within a new programme of contemporary art at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington.
His work is held in private collections worldwide and public collections including the British Council, Government Art Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, Tate Gallery Archive and the Czech Museum of Fine Art, Prague.