‘A Place Beyond Belief’ (Project 3: Place in art – Case study)

A Place Beyond Belief by Nathan Coley

  • What is your first response to this piece?
  • What questions are you going to ask in order to make sense of the piece?
  • What type of work do you think this is? How would you define it?
  • What do you think the text is about?


Fig. 1. Coley, N. A Place Beyond Belief (2012)

First reponse

My first response to this is to focus on the meaning of the illuminated text, given its position next to a christian church.

  • A church is the centre of worship for christians. They have faith, which is sometimes referred to as belief. Arguably faith is beyond simple belief. A person may believe in the existence of God but a person of faith may feel that their belief defines many aspects of their life, their decision-making, etc. In that respect the church represents something beyond belief.
  • Churches have, however, have been at the centre of many scandals in recent times. In that sense the expression can be seen as pejorative. The church and its actions were ‘beyond belief’.
  • Unfortunately, another initial response was to be puzzled about how it could be categorised! I would describe as an installation.

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