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 Park Place Gallery is pleased to present Sense of Place, a group exhibition, curated by Michael Holden. This show explores places observed through the eyes and imaginations of ten women artists whose inspirations of place enhance the language of painting, as well as challenge both the worlds of fact and fiction. Expressing a similar dichotomy, the painter Agnes Martin wrote, “Walking seems to cover time and space, but in reality, we are always just where we started. I walk, but in reality, I am hand in hand with contentment on my own doorstep.” 

A sense of place can spark the imagination through childhood memories of exploration and play or an adult’s perspective on the relationship of place to self. “Place incarnates the experiences and aspirations of a people. Place is not only a fact to be explained in the broader frame of space, but it is also a reality to be clarified and understood from the perspectives of the people who have given it meaning,” Yi-Fu Tuan wrote in 1977 to succinctly express how place can be both concrete and open to creative approaches for various meanings. 

The artistic practice can identify with place to gain familiarity with the unfamiliar as it searches for new interpretations of art. “Everything you can image is real,” said Pablo Picasso.

One of our earliest human art forms, a Venus fertility goddess, reflected all humans’ first sense of place, the womb of their mothers. Women’s voices now guide society during this politically problematic time. Fake news is abundant today. A well-informed statement holds greater profoundness as we are forced to defend human rights and face a delicate ecosystem affected by global warming. Art counters the prevalence of an errant human dominance that has detracted from the cultivation of an awareness of place. An attachment to place can be informed from one’s range of experiences from joy to fear. The medium of painting allows for prolonged observations to construct mindful images that are unique in today’s fast-moving world of immediate images. Each artist searches within herself seeks fact, fiction or both to find a meaningful expression of a sense of place.

Sense of Placeconveys a contemporary perspective by its artists whose works both challenge the real and nurture the imaginative that viewers can use to ascertain their own balance of fact and fiction.