Past Exhibition: RURAL TIME by Peter Liversidge

21.01.2023 - 08.05.2023

RURAL TIME: A solo exhibition by Peter Liversidge.

Rural Time is a new solo exhibition by artist Peter Liversidge. The show centres on a new series of 24 proposals in which Peter explores the passage of time in a rural context.

As with all his exhibitions, as a starting point, Peter has written his ideas down on a manual typewriter. The proposals have then been bound into books and the originals framed in the exhibition. Some of the proposals never make it beyond the typed page, remaining hypothetical; others are realised as physical works or performances as part of the exhibition. Seemingly unconnected, the proposals come together through a narrative that responds to objects that reflect the area’s cultural heritage and industry, and are woven with themes that recur in Liversidge’s practice — time, identity and difference.

Downstairs, chains — ubiquitous in industry — hang from the ceiling. Where these days chains are made by machine, the 36 here are each crafted by an individual blacksmith and so bear the character and skill of their maker — some loops are larger, some rounder than others. A loud speaker repurposed from the now-closed Wansbrough Paper Mill in Watchet is suspended from the ceiling. Transformed into a speaking clock, which announces each minute, it reflects on the passing of time and how the local industry of the town has changed.

Upstairs, a shelf displays a collection of objects which have been posted to Watchet using Royal Mail. Part of an ongoing series of works by Liversidge, each is stamped, addressed, posted and subsequently hand-delivered to the gallery to be arranged on the shelf by Watchet’s postal workers. Continuing to accumulate throughout the exhibition, here they reflect the vital and varying role that postal workers play in more isolated and rural communities. The exhibition continues with a large wall drawing created using a strict set of rules. Again, this speaks to individuality, methodology and process — each a mainstay in Peter’s work and characteristic of industrial activities. Filtering through the windows, the reflections of hand motifs flood into the space. The ecclesiastical designs are inspired by stained-glass windows in local churches — the hands show reverence for local craftsmanship and industriousness.

Elsewhere, pairs of near-identical Polaroids, ‘Winter Drawings’ made on paper from the mill, and local artefacts invite us to take a closer look and spot the passing of time. The stones — one real, one handmade —highlight deep time and the area’s unique geological heritage, which evolves and is remade as time moves on. Outside the main galleries, a group of flags fly from the site at East Quay, each reading: HELLO. The flags offer an affable greeting to visitors but also speak to the town’s coastal location and seafaring heart. Visible from land and sea, the flags offer a universal welcome to all those who journey here for whatever reason.

This exhibition is commissioned by Contains Art CIO andfunded by Arts Council England.

About the artist
Peter Liversidge was born in 1973 in Lincoln, UK. His work has been presented at Tate Modern and in solo exhibitions including, Either / Or, Kate MacGarry, London, 2023; An Echo, Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, 2022; Sign Paintings for Belfast, The Mac, Belfast, 2020; Out/Exit Piece, Jupiter Art Land, 2020; Working Title II, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden, 2018; Proposals for the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut, USA, 2016-17; and Notes on Protesting, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK, 2015.

Image Credits: Glyn Jarrett and Emily Marshall
Film credits: Jesse Roth


Apr 20, 2023

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