Peter Liversidge: Winter Shadow 2009-2010
Winter Shadow is made up of 6000 Queen of the Night tulips, planted in the winter shadow of a tree at Jupiter Artland. When the flowers bloom in Spring, they trace the tree’s shadow from the winter months.
Between 1 December 2008 and 31 January 2009, Peter 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 Winter Shadow – 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 Midsummer Snowstorm.
Winter Shadow is ‘proposal 47’ within Liversidge’s Jupiter Proposals:
“I propose to, during the winter mark out the shadows of a tree at Jupiter Artland. I will plant the shape of the shadow with black Queen of the Night tulips so that in the spring the shadows of winter will still be on the grass.”
The tulips were plotted and planted by moonlight in winter so that they would come out in daylight the following spring. The result is a traced outine of a ghostly tree, a memory of a landscape that disappears when the lushness of summer arrives.
“Relinquishing control to nature is a good analogy for how an artwork is released into the world – especially with the proposals as it is the imagination that fills the space that is left once the text has been read.”
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.