See it now, celebrate ‘A Sense of Place’ showing at Bermondsey Project Space, London

This is the second of three thematically linked exhibitions Curated by Philippa Beale, responding to the concept of a ‘Sense of Place’. The SGFA Members’ exhibition encompasses a diverse range of responses to the central idea.  

Who are the SGFA Members?

Founded in 1919, the Society of Graphic Fine Art exists to promote and exhibit original works of art. The emphasis is on excellence in drawings, created by hand. This includes all colours and media: pencil, pen, brush, painting, charcoal, conté, and original printmaking.

The SGFA is the only UK society dedicated exclusively to drawing and welcomes a growing international membership. The annual SGFA ‘Open’ exhibition has taken place at the Mall Galleries in London since 2021. There are also several regional Member Only exhibitions each year including Watts Contemporary Gallery in Guildford and The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.

Bermondsey Tube station sign, bermondsey street art exhibitions bermondsey project space
Shutterstock image

What is Bermondsey Project Space?

Bermondsey Project Space is a vibrant, not-for-profit creative platform promoting art and culture.

Founded in 2015, Bermondsey Project Space is based in the famous and fashionable Bermondsey Street, London. The venue is a flagship space for both emerging and established artists.

Bermondsey Project Space London four artist papercuts by Charlie Kirkham A Sense of Place exhibition installation shot
Courtesy of Bermondsey Project Space, SGFA exhibition installation November 2022. The four papercuts by Charlie Kirkham can be seen framed in black and vertically arranged on the second left.

When can I visit?

Project Space is open Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 – 18:00, or by appointment. ‘A Sense of Place’ runs from Tuesday 28 November – Saturday 10 December 2022. The Open Evening is on Wednesday 30 November 18:00-21:00.

A ‘Sense of Place’ is used to describe how someone perceives and experiences a place or environment. The term can be used and understood in many ways. It is a multidimensional, complex construct used to characterize the relationship between people and spatial settings. Some geographical places are of special interest to individuals, while to others a ‘Sense of Place’ is a feeling or perception held by groups of people -not by a specific location. It is often used to characterise certain elements which make a place special or unique, or which foster authentic human attachment and belonging. 

Geographers, anthropologists, sociologists, and urban planners study why certain places hold special meaning to particular people. Regions said to have a strong ‘Sense of Place’ have an identity that is deeply felt by inhabitants and visitors. 

The term is used in urban and rural studies in relation to place-making and the attachment of communities to their environment or homeland. Anthropologists Steven Feld and Keith Basso define a ‘Sense of Place’ as: 

‘The experiential and expressive ways places are known, imagined, yearned for, held, remembered, voiced, lived, contested, and struggled over. Many indigenous cultures are losing their sense of place because of climate change and loss of ancestral homeland, land rights, and destruction of sacred places.’

A ‘Sense of Place’ is a social phenomenon. Codes aimed at protecting, preserving, and enhancing places felt to be of value include World Heritage Site designations, the British Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty controls, and the American National Historic Landmark designation. A ‘Sense of Place’ can be our back garden, a place where we grew up, had a good time, or lived in fear: it may even be a place that is completely imaginary.

Philippa Beale, curator.
Charlie Kirkham at Bermondsey Project Space London four papercut images of dragons

How did you interpret the theme?

Four of my George and the Dragon themed papercuts are on display and for sale at the show. In them I took ‘A Sense of Place’ to reflect my own thematic reflections on the Dragon as a creature facing extinction, pushed from its natural environment onto a diet of sheep and princesses, then slain by George. The place evoked in my works is both rooted in the natural world but altered to reflect the psychological aspects of ‘place’ and the disconnected positions of the protagonists.


REFERENCE LINKS

Philippa Beale

SGFA – Society of Graphic Fine Art

Bermondsey Project Space (project-space.london)

Press Release and my works SGFA @ Bermondsey Project Space | 29 November – 10 December 2022 | Charlie Kirkham

Watts Contemporary Artist Village

Royal Birmingham Society of Artists

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