When in 2005 a tropical storm flooded her studio, Guatemala-based Vivan Suter feared her artwork would be ruined.
But instead she became fascinated by the effect the mud and rainwater had on the canvasses. And from then on the 70-year-old Swiss-Argentinian artist started deliberately leaving her paintings outdoors – allowing the country’s climate to influence the finished works.
Now 53 of those works have gone on show at Tate Liverpool in Suter’s first Solo UK display, titled Nisyros (Vivian’s Bed), which is also her largest installation to date.
Visitors to the Royal Albert Dock’s Wolfson Gallery can wander among the organic and abstract paintings inspired by the tropical landscape of the former coffee plantation at Panajachel where Suter lives, and spot signs of that landscape including mud, twigs and even footprints of animals on the large-scape canvasses.
One work even has a butterfly caught in its thick paint.
Nisyros (Vivian’s Bed) is at Tate Liverpool until March 16 and is free.