Spirit of the Place (Genius Loci)
Rhyl Library Arts Centre
13 Jan 2001 - 10 Feb 2001
Royal International Pavilion, Llangollen
19 Feb 2001 - 16 Mar 2001
Pontardawe Arts Centre, Swansea
29 Oct 2001 - 23 Nov 2001
Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Birkenhead
||1 Dec 2001 - 6 Jan 2002
Ucheldre Art Centre, Holyhead
||12 Jan 2002 - 10 Feb 2002
Y Tabernacl, Machynlleth
||17 Feb 2002 - 16 Mar 2002
Ceredigion Museum & Art Gallery, Aberystwyth
||Apr 2002 - May 2002
||Mid May 2002 - Mid June 2002
Metropolitan Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Stellenbosch University Gallery, South Africa
Genius Loci originally referred to the 18th century landscape, both natural and painted.
It implied the possession of an essential character to specific landscapes. The artists present
a series of pieces which include installation, 2D and 3D works.
Each member has responded to the theme in a personal way and through a chosen medium. The
'place' may be historical, imaginary, small and particular, borrowed, remembered, observed...
The group consists of five women and four men. They are Lynne Bebb, Gwenllian Beynon, Dave Cooper,
Gordon Field, Richard Hore, Audrey Searle, Boris Tietze, Margaret Tietze and Tracey Ann Williams.
The South African guest contributors were invited in early 2000 after consultation with
Anna Love of University of Cape Town, and Estelle Jacobs of AVA (Association for Visual
Arts at Metropolitan Gallery, Cape Town).
A selection process by Gwenillian Ashley of Ceredigion Museum and Gallery, Aberystwyth catered
for the smaller galleries of the tour.
It has always been the policy of Group 75 to invite guest contributors and this continued in
'Spirit of the Place'. We are pleased to maintain the connection with South Africa started
in 1998 when three artists from South Africa joined the five woman members of Group 75 in
their exhibition 'Homeland'.
Previous tours have included both rural and urban venues, large and small galleries in the UK
and America, but this exhibition travelled further afield to the Metropolitan Gallery, Cape Town,
South Africa and the University of Stellenbosch Gallery in February 2003.
Borrowed from Paul Nash "There are places just as there are people and objects and works of
art, whose relationships of part creates a mystery, an enchantment, which cannot be analysed".
My work for 'The Spirit of the Place' is centered around the 'gallery'.
I am interested in conceptual art and installation, and the galleries where this type of
work can be experienced.
Here the artist is free to create situations and visual dramas removed from the 'everyday'.
Anything is possible.
Happenings can be created which touch on the absurd or preposterous. The four walls create
for an artist and the public a secure and inviolable space. The artist is in control, the
public willing collaborators in the unexpected or the shocking.
'Spirit of the Place' Light is one of the fascinating aspects of the valley in which I live.
It reflects of the water (of which there is plenty with the river, streams, rain and drainage
ditches) as well as the trees buildings and sky. It glows then blinds as it bends over the
hills, slices through the trees and makes mirrors of the lanes.
Constantly changing, giving life to the place and me - it measures time.
I was very impressed by the pristine images, the quality of light and the clean air that
surrounds the desert area at Uluru in Australia.
The place has a magical feel to it and it is not surprising that the Aboriginals treat it as
a special place. It is a tourist 'must' when visiting Australia, but the two hotels are built
well away from the desert rock so it can be seen in its magical, natural state.
It is an image which is famous throughout the world but I still feel inspired to record it
in some way. A magical, spiritual place.
Exmoor is a fascinating environment and one of my major challenges is to record it in
My aim is to go beyond the physical appearance to search out the spiritual qualities of this
Rather than record the traditional broad landscape views, I have concentrated on selecting
smaller elements that build up to create its unique quality.
Through many visits, drawings, paintings and mixed-media works I have developed a sculptural
approach which can be seen in the boxed artworks on display.
Tracey Ann Williams
I look at the home in these works since people are now staying in more than ever.
Looking at the domestic space that I now locate myself in, I imagine how much can happen in
a room and the effect space has on figures.
Ellis Island was the immigration centre in the USA where immigrants used to be precessed
on their arrival. A 'no man's island'.
The people collected here had left the familiar for the unknown. In this huge cavernous place
the immigrants were tested physically and mentally, labelled and documented, before acceptance.
Many brought with them small mementi to remind them of the home they had left; small 'spirits
of the place'.
My works are records of one or two individuals carrying with them objects of self identification
to sustain them during this period of anonymity until a new life and reality could be made.
When I was younger I always intuitively recognised the spirit of the place - in dwellings
especially - "This is a happy place". "This is a sad place". I always felt that it was
history, the people who had been there, that created this spirit.
Currently, I'm living in a place where I've had a lot of problems - a bad neighbour,
screaming and fighting geese, cum-backing guinea fowl - to name but a few.
I find myself wondering whether its the History of the place or the present that's creating
its spirit - I'm LEAVING.