New University of Hertfordshire art exhibition launches online

PUBLISHED: 17:09 28 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:24 28 October 2020

Kirke Raava, Finding a Place, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH Arts

Kirke Raava, Finding a Place, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH Arts

University of Herts

A new University of Hertfordshire art exhibition – Poetics of Place – has launched online.

Imogen Welch, Shoe Fossils, 2007-09, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH ArtsImogen Welch, Shoe Fossils, 2007-09, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH Arts

The digital group exhibition considers the ways in which our perceptions of place shape our thoughts, memories and dreams.

Part of the Hertfordshire Year of Culture, Poetics of Place focuses on works by six artists living and working in Hertfordshire.

With varying visual languages, artists Fiona Curran, Yva Jung, Dave Nelson, Kirke Raava, Amanda Ralph and Imogen Welch all share an inherent interest in the process of moulding and reshaping experiences of memory or place.

Curators Inna Allen and Elizabeth Murton said: “Poetics of Place explores our perceptions of place, and how memories can be filtered through a variety of artefacts and personal experience.

Amanda Ralph, Pivot, 2019, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH ArtsAmanda Ralph, Pivot, 2019, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH Arts

“Our homes have always been the foundation in our lives, but we have perhaps never been more in tune with our senses of place than now, in this current environment.”

The exhibition considers autobiographical thoughts, nostalgic narratives and re-interpretation of ideas, and takes inspiration from French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s seminal book, The Poetics of Space.

Consisting of assemblages, textile works, painting, photography and installation, the display showcases layered, meticulously constructed works that consider the undercurrents of value systems, social histories and image-making.

Talking about how the pandemic has impacted on his work, exhibiting artist Dave Nelson said: “Since March my physical world experience, as for most of us, has become much smaller.

F.Curran's Tilt, 2018, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH ArtsF.Curran's Tilt, 2018, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH Arts

“Although potentially constraining and one might think limiting, I have been interested to observe how I, and many others, have been paying more attention to what we do have.

“The idea that people were looking more closely at what was in front of them – because they had the time to pay attention – seemed to me to be close to the artist’s ideal of looking and really seeing.”

Poetics of Place launched online with a curators’ introduction on Thursday, October 22 and is supported by a programme of events including an online artists’ event discussing working in a COVID context, interviews, online workshops and creative activities for everyone to enjoy at home.

Running until January 9, 2021, the digital exhibition and curators’ introduction is available at www.uharts.co.uk

Yva Jung, Spooning the Waxing Moon, 2020, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH ArtsYva Jung, Spooning the Waxing Moon, 2020, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH Arts

The exhibition is also open to University of Hertfordshire staff and students in the Art & Design Gallery on the College Lane Campus.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, access may be limited and the gallery remains closed to the general public.

Dave Nelson, Expanded IV, 2020, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH ArtsDave Nelson, Expanded IV, 2020, in the University of Hertfordshire's Poetics of Place exhibition. Picture: UH Arts


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