December 19, 2023

You Are What You Give (Christmas Edition) with... Peter Liversidge

You Are What You Give (Christmas Edition) with... Peter Liversidge
Peter was the first artist I commissioned in my previous life in the contemporary art world, and in the course of our professional relationship he managed to persuade me to go to work dressed in a BBC squirrel costume, drive a lorry with him from London to Switzerland to plant apple trees, and fire a rocket from Calton Hill in Edinburgh at midnight every day for a week…!

All of his work begins life as a typed proposal for something - be it an object or a performance - with varying degrees of practical possibility, some of which materialise, and many of which don't. 
His work defies definition, but much of it is predicated on gifting in some form, and he regularly sends random items to friends and collaborators in the post (an old wooden ruler, a styrofoam pear, driftwood and fishing buoys all covered in colourful stamps are just some of the things that have landed on our doormat to the puzzlement of the postman.

Here is his typically idiosyncratic wish list which, just like his work, is an inimitable mix of the mad and the mundane, fantasy and reality... 

"Twelve (13) places I’d like to be buying presents from, either for someone else, or perhaps indulging in a bit of ‘self-gifting’…"

Records from Stranger Than Paradise – "excellent record shop with genius staff" From £4.50

"Kelley Deal of The Breeders makes scarves from recycled material. I love these scarves." (Editor's Note - these don't seem to be currently available, so perhaps one to bookmark for next year)

"The best cricket bats in the world (!)" Keeley Cricket Bat from £263.50

"Something everyone should own, or want to…" Gakken Toy Record Maker, £139

"Crown Northampton make the best hand made shoes…" Crown Northampton shoes from £280 

"Support Amnesty International – donate in someone’s name" Amnesty from £20

"Buy someone a hedge, or semi-mature tree, great for wildlife and the environment. Remember to plant with a banana skin in the bottom of the hole to promote root growth and water well for the first year." 
Instant Hedges, from £75

"Perhaps a more traditional Christmas gift idea… very warm gloves" from Hestra, £70

Linn records players – "not sure why this is on the list as it’s way beyond my price limit. Linn make some of the best record players." from £3,700 

"Great starter Kit for a future record collector" Turntable with Bluetooth speakers, £279.99

"Buy someone membership for Café Oto in Dalston, one of the best music venues in the world" from £15 per month

"LOW Double Negative Hoodie featuring my artwork for the album; Double Negative" £49.00

"Arrange to take out your friends for supper during the coming year. Some of the following are really worth visiting"

What's the best Christmas present you have ever received?

"My best ever present was probably a drawing my son gave me of a dinosaur, which looked more like a murmuration of birds, everything about it was perfect."

 Thank you Peter!