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
Oriel, Bangor Mid May 2002 - Mid June 2002
Metropolitan Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa October 2002
Stellenbosch University Gallery, South Africa February 2003

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.


David Cooper

Click for larger view 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".

Boris Tietze

Click for larger view 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.

Audrey Searle

Click for larger view '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.

Richard Hore

Click for larger view 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.

Gordon Field

Click for larger view Exmoor is a fascinating environment and one of my major challenges is to record it in artworks.
My aim is to go beyond the physical appearance to search out the spiritual qualities of this landscape.
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

Click for larger view 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.

Margaret Tietze

Click for larger view 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.

Gwenllian Beynon

Click for larger view 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.