Interview with Steph Goodger: Evoking Spaces, Their Histories and the Traces of Events

Steph Goodger is an award-winning expressionistic painter who creates significant-format operates on social background, architecture and literature. Recurring themes incorporate conflict zones, theatres of war, the human encounter of conflict and its content, social and particular person penalties. Steph also explores the impact of trauma and its a lot of manifestations on earth.

Steph doing the job in her studio


How would you explain the artwork you develop?

My paintings evoke spaces and their histories, their atmospheres, and the traces of gatherings. Painting is also an exploration into the immersive entire world of the creativity. The independence and the malleability of the painting room is, for me, a reflection of our potential to make psychological journeys, by deep interiors, or walking into voids, navigating the unidentified, stepping back again and forth in time, and negotiating inside and outside.

Oil portray on canvas is my principal medium. I do make collages, products, watercolours and am continuously drawing. Despite the fact that, these are frequently the signifies of arriving at portray solutions, relatively than finishes in themselves.

Household in the Middle 2, 2020, oil on canvas50 x 90cm


Notify us a little bit about the inspiration behind your apply

I went to art faculty at 16 and began painting more or significantly less straight away. There have been a few of superb academics there who opened my eyes and my mind to the huge planet of painting. I was way too immature at the time to have just about anything to say by means of painting, but I comprehended its prospective. My engagement with social background arrived a whole lot later. I didn’t study back then, or go to lectures, other than to rest. These types of a squander!

The Desire Household 2, 2019, oil on canvas, 120 x 160cm


What/Who are your key influences?

The engineered chaos of Paul Nash’s epic landscapes, as a war artist in Entire world War Just one. Walter Sickert’s interiors with their peculiar liminal perspectives on lonely rooms or crowded theatres. These have been my greatest painting influences not long ago. Right before that, Anselm Kiefer’s Parsifal Cycle, turning his studio into a legendary realm, Otto Dix’s Der Krieg etchings, and Dada collage. Also, the landscapes of Hokusai for their ethereal vastness, put together with suspended weighty masses.

Literature and poetry are similarly influential to me. Crucial references arrive from Dante, Shakespeare, Zola, T. S. Eliot, and Camus. Gaston Bachelard and Walter Benjamin have guided me not long ago into new territory relating to the phenomenon of house in the creativeness. Roland Barthes way too, is a important reference for photography.

Pearl 1, 2022, oil on canvas, 40 x 30cm


How do you occur up with the concepts for your artworks?

I draw a good deal from social heritage and the photographic document to uncover the spaces and environments that conclude up in the paintings. Tons of reading through and browsing by archives transpires before touching a brush.  I maintain notebooks, rather than sketchbooks, wherever I make little drawings in pen and pencil, like visible notice taking. 

There is often a fusion involving the actual physical illustrations or photos I come across, and photos evoked via literature or poetry. These fusions are labored out as a result of the modest scrappy drawings in my notebooks, till I get started to visualize the act of painting them.

The Twilight Kingdom, 2017, oil on canvas, 6 x 67cm


How has your exercise developed in modern several years?

I have constantly labored in series, establishing a topic in a selection of techniques, right up until I felt I’d exhausted it. With the latest sequence Lusitania, even so, encouraged by the initial-course cabins of the ill-fated RMS Lusitania, I am taking far more time to check out the areas, and go further into the paintings them selves. There are 21 paintings in the sequence so significantly. Each one is a little world-in-itself which one-way links to all the other folks. There is no all round strategy to the sequence, no commencing, middle and conclusion. Permitting items choose condition and be what they are, I suppose that is what I’m discovering.

The Dream Dwelling (compact) 5, 2022, oil on canvas, 3 x 40cm


What’s an typical working day like in your studio? 

My studio is composed of a number of spaces. There is a massive business office space, shared with other artists, illustrators, graphic designers, musicians, and an artwork historian.  Then there is the large portray studio I share with 1 other artist.

I usually head straight for the portray studio. Unless of course I’m in a phase of producing a proposal, an write-up, or doing work on advertising and social media publications, in which case I prevent the portray studio completely and get straight on with that. Afternoons are approximately the same. I’m also recognised for taking extensive naps on the business couch just after lunch.

What is actually on the wall of Steph’s studio in 2022


How do you go about earning each and every get the job done?

Prior to commencing a painting, I lay out for reference, photocopies of pictures, my notebook sketches, and in some cases watercolours. (Watercolours are an additional new improvement in my follow, considering that the covid lockdowns.)

I do the job in oil paint with non-poisonous diluents, oils, and mediums. Sometimes I start off by covering the floor with a skinny clean of color, which I then attract into with a smaller brush laden with dryer, thicker paint permitting it bleed and then wiping again places with a cloth. Other instances, I attract with the brush straight onto the dry texture of the canvas, then incorporate a more liquid wash with a larger brush, to interact with it. 

I check out to always be the process of identifying the image, trying to find it out by means of the paint, not simply marking it out from sketches and photos. It’s a matter of expecting the unpredicted, remaining in frequent negotiation with the paint.

A Heritage Portray, 2019, oil on canvas, 60 x 100cm


Who are some Rise Artwork artists with work you happen to be having fun with at the instant?

Artists who I have actually savored a short while ago are, among other individuals, Jonathan Alibone, Keith Ashcroft, Day Bowman, Robbie Bushe, Michael Coppelov, Michele Fletcher, Paula Macarthur, Enzo Marra, Kate McCrickard and Clare Thatcher.


Are you currently working on any remarkable new assignments?

I am extremely thrilled to have been chosen for the Brewers Towner Intercontinental at the Towner Eastbourne, from 15th Oct until eventually 22nd January 2023. The topic of the exhibition is Sanctuary. A variety of significant paintings from, The Motherland collection, will be on display.

I am currently organising exhibitions for the Lusitania sequence in 2023, performing with galleries in Belgium, Liverpool, and London. Much more information and facts coming soon!

Going for walks in Two Worlds / Cerdded Mewn Dau Fyd, is an exhibition of 20 artists, last exhibited in August 2022, in Swansea, as element of the BEEP Painting Biennial 2022. We hope to tour the exhibition further in 2023.

Curated by Welsh painter Jonathan Powell and devised by me in collaboration with artist Julian Rowe, Strolling in Two Worlds, provides with each other artists who share interests in prehistoric artwork, the primitive, the shamanistic and the mysterious.

The Valley 3, 2021, oil on canvas120 x 220cm

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