This month’s Artist Profile focuses on Liv Preston, whose works DOG QUEST, 2020, and Casual(ty?), 2021, were recently acquired by the Arts Council Collection. DOG QUEST is currently included in the exhibition Right About Now at No.9 Cork Street in London and Casual(ty?) features in Where There’s Space to Grow at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.
Born in Keighley and raised in Bradford, Liv Preston is heavily influenced by the material language of West Yorkshire. Combined with her obsessive interest in video gaming, the subterranean and science fiction publications such as 2000 AD, her practice primarily manifests as a combination of sculpture and conceptual gestures. Collections of objects are identified and mined, employing their unique material qualities and contexts. Their forms of display often resist and chew on traditional ways of installing art, as well as the politics surrounding these gestures. They imply mischief or danger in their presentation, deliberately undermining themselves in relation to their environments.
Cast from the slate window sill of an outbuilding at Pen Yr Orsedd, an abandoned quarry in North Wales, DOG QUEST documents a piece of graffiti of a dog's head. Discovered originally by a friend of the artist, a team was assembled to travel 240 miles to investigate the drawing in situ. By establishing the production of the work as a quest, the outcome exists as something closer to a treasure or relic than simply a record of a surface. It is a nod to the representation and consistent presence of dogs within human culture, while also pondering the closeness, or sometimes violence of this relationship. The members of DOG QUEST are Karl Fisher, Millie Leyton, Sam Keelan, Kobby Adi, Cat Tandy, Rowan Rossetter.