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Week 7: Concepts, Contexts and Practice (PLACE) (ART717)

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Week beginning: 14th November 2022

Concept, Contexts and Practice

What is place? What does it mean to you?

There are many definitions of the word place, it can most commonly be defined as a particular position, point, or area in space, a location. When reflecting on the word 'place' I think of a location in which has a personal connection to me, a memory almost. Whether that be a landscape or building, it's something that can both inspire me and influence in me in both art and in life. As opposed to the word 'site' which to me refers to a location in which I have never visited nor have a connection to.

How as creatives could you respond to these concepts?

As a creative I could respond to these concepts in a way which highlights current problems and attempts to correct them. Taking physical and social conditions of the place/site into consideration and how this may or may not affect the viewer in the process. I would have to agree with Yi FuTuan when they said ‘When space feels thoroughly familiar to us it has become place’ it is in fact this quote that I respond to the most, it highlights the process between place, site and memory. When exactly does a location become a place to an individual and is it the concept of memory that makes it a place to an individual? An interesting thought.


What relevance does Place, Site or the various scenarios discussed in today's lecture have within your current practice?

The term 'place' is extremely relevant within my practice, as the majority of my works are conducted and completed on location. Locations which are important and personal to me. Capturing the natural surrounds and spaces of the location in the process. I usually conduct these practices within forests and fields, places in which are calming and peaceful to me.

Key theoretical texts in relation to your ideas.

  • Understanding Memory of UK Treescapes for Better Resilience and Adaptation (MEMBRA)-MEMBRA - UK Treescapes

  • Miwon Kwon - One place after another: Site-specific Art and Locational Identity (2004)

Two artists or designers who have created unique artworks investigating the terms of 'Place' or 'Site', either physically or virtually.

1) Dineo SesheeBopape - Artes Mundi 9 (2021) -

Through a new immersive installation, South African artist Dineo Seshee Bopape materially and conceptually engages with place, history and the consequences of the trans-Atlantic slave-trade through objects, ritual and song, presenting art as embodying the potential for acknowledgement, healing and reconciliation. Drawing with soil as a means of media and expanding place via time/timescale in the process.

Artes Mundi 9 (2021

Artes Mundi 9 (2021

(A sense of memory, sight and sound, taking mud from places etc., Identity and its given narrative.)

2) CHILA KUMARI SINGH BURMAN- Merseyside Burman Empire (2022)

An experimental space filled with her eye-catching designs and artworks. Over the next year it will also include the work of FACT’s resident artists. Multi-layered and ever-changing, Chila’s works utilize neon, sculpture, collage and film to challenge stereotypes around gender and cultural identity. Born in Bootle to Punjabi-Hindu parents, her unique style and understanding of ‘Britishness’ has been shaped by her working-class childhood growing up in Liverpool. Inspired by this, Chila’s desire is to make this space feel like a living room: filled with comfort, identity and an invitation to spend some time.

Around the space you will find a mixture of new and existing works turning the room into a ‘kaleidoscope of colour’. Spilling out from the walls, onto the furniture and emblazoned on the Tuk Tuk are Chila’s renowned motifs. Hindu deities, glitter, bindis and tigers surround three films based on her own stories and experiences.

Candy Pop & Juicy Lucy (2007) includes childhood memories of Chila’s father’s ice cream van business, going to see Bollywood movies, and visiting the Hindu temple.

Dada and the Punjabi Princess (2017) follows a female protagonist as she makes her way through ‘a murky world of obsession, corruption and destruction’, to come out on top.

Kamla (1996) looks back at Chila’s childhood and her experience of both Punjabi and Scouse identities.

These films, and her approach to making artwork, assert Chila as a pioneer of ever-evolving artistic practice. The name she has given to the space, Merseyside Burman Empire, is a playful nod to the fact she was recently awarded an MBE for her services to visual art. Chila invites not just visitors into her Punjabi punk world, but also welcomes both local and international artists to create, test and present their ideas.

Merseyside Burman Empire (2022)


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