The Genius Loci and the Love Song to the Moon by Ashleigh Fisk
The Genius Loci and the Love Song to the Moon by Ashleigh Fisk

After thousands of years of submersion, the Genius Loci has formed from the mud and debris of the river, archiving the material history of London in his body. This living relic can be found wandering the foreshore lamenting its partner, the moon. The liminal nature of the river and the archival environment of the mud form a time capsule that is simultaneously in flux with every ebbing of the tide. The river offers a cyclical sense of time, revealing patterns in the collective narrative of those who have lived on its banks.

Found in many folklore traditions, this work highlights the importance of the Wild Man / Green Man tradition – an anthropomorphic embodiment of nature that hails from the summer and the rebirth
it brings. Evidence of these figures transcend era and culture, unearthed in the Thames with every finding of a Bellarmine Bearded Man (Bartmann sherd) from the foreshore. To engage with the Genius Loci is to establish contact with the past, and the enduring presence of the river itself.

Ashleigh Fisk is currently studying at Slade School of Fine Art. Her work focuses on history, myth and folkloric traditions, seeking cyclical loops of thinking and making revealed through relics and artefacts. She uses the language of ceramics, a practise synonymous with human creation and mimesis, as human bodies and beliefs are imbued and solidified onto the clay surface throughout time. Fisk also uses performative elements as a tool to bring to light characters that resonate with our innate primal selves and our common memory.


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