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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

INSITU Exhibition Inspired by Genius Loci Project

Published: 15 March 2013

INSITU is an interim exhibition of work by students in the second year of the BA Graphic Arts programme at Winchester School of Art.

The INSITU exhibition was organised and publicised entirely by the students. This included fund raising for the Private View, and the design and production of invitations, posters and a catalogue. The show was based on the three week Genius Loci project which is delivered across all four Graphic Arts pathways. In Year 2 of the programme the emphasis is on professionalism, while retaining an innovative and experimental approach to creativity. It is this innovation and experimentation that students are invited to explore during the Genius Loci project.

Genius Loci was understood to have been the protective spirit of a place within Roman mythology. It was often depicted as a snake in paintings and stone carvings. In contemporary usage, Genius Loci usually refers to a location’s distinctive atmosphere, or the “spirit of place”. For this three week project students were invited to choose an atmospheric space or place and produce work that captures it’s individual Genius Loci:

"You are attempting to communicate something that cannot be seen. Think carefully about how you respond to different environments. Look beneath the surface of your chosen location. Use all your senses. Extrapolate. Imagine. Think about memory, a present sense of absence and a sense of the uncanny. Think about history, nostalgia, mood, atmosphere..."

The brief was very open and students could work in a variety of media towards final outcomes including typography, installation, film, photography and character design. The work in the exhibition is based on these outcomes and includes work by students from all four pathways on the Graphic Arts program: Photography, Illustration, Motion Graphics and Graphic Design.

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