Photo: Steph Goodger in Bordeaux

Steph Goodger


Forms of social organisation and the physical structures and spaces that contain them are key themes. Ships of the Nineteenth Century such as the whale ship, the slave ship and prison hulk, are of particular interest. I find Foucault’s spatial/architectural notion of the heterotopia, a real, other space, set apart and yet somehow connected to all others, especially pertinent to what I’m trying to achieve in painting. The ship for Foucault is the heterotopia ‘par excellence’, the closest we get to utopian perfection, because it is a perfectly isolated entity that can move freely and at will between all other places. This ultimate freedom can also be the ultimate prison, the closest we have ever got to a dystopian perfection. I find the way architectural plans, models and cross-sections represent information very interesting in relation to painting. Appropriating these kinds of structures can liberate the painting from ‘real’ space/place. The qualities of artificiality, functionality and the diagrammatical also provide a means of representing difficult, emotive subjects, such as imprisonment and slavery, with a sense of distance that avoids sentimentality. I’ve also become increasingly interested in working directly from old photographs. For me old photographs, drawings and etchings are essential tools for picture making. They represent directly the past that I’m aiming to reshape into an object for contemplation by a contemporary audience.

Location Bordeaux
Activities Higher education, Further education, Lecturing, Practice-based research, Art historical research
Artforms / type of project Mixed Media, Painting, Printmaking
Tags painting, visual artist, contemporary artist, oil painting, large format, Romanticism, history, dystopia, utopia, literature

News & Events

  • Discerning Eye 2015

    12/11/2015 – 22/11/2015
    The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London

    Discerning Eye at the Mall Galleries is a large, annual, group exhibition of small works. This year i have had 3 works selected.

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  • The London Group Open 2015

    13/10/2015 – 06/11/2015
    The Cello Factor , 33-34 Cornwall rd, London. (Nr Waterloo Station)

    A biennial exhibition held by The London Group, of members and selected non-members. The exhibition is split into 2 parts. I am in Part 1 13-23 October. Part 2 is 27th October - 6th Novemnber.

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  • National Open Art Competition 2014

    18/09/2014 – 25/10/2014
    Somerset House, London

    Private view 24th September at Somerset House.

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  • National Open Art Competition 2014

    I have been selected and also won a prize at the NOAC, to be given out at Somerset House 26th September.

  • Iā€™d still like to see the Governor...

    28/08/2014 – 04/09/2014
    Brewery Tap, 53 Tontine Street, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1JR

    Brewery Tap, University of Creative Arts Project Space, Folkestone. Exhibition with Julian Rowe as part of the Folkestone Fringe 2014.

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