As an artist, there is always a certain reticence to acknowledging the influence of other artists on one’s own work. But the fact is that sometimes we cannot help but be influenced and affected by the work of others. When I first discovered Betty Goodwin as an art student I fell in love with her work. She was unrestricted by so many of the conventions that hold many of us back. I have followed her career over the years and have gained so much from it. Even to this day her work continues to give to me. When she died in 2008 I decided to create a series in her honor. While the pieces in the series are mine, I let myself be thoroughly infused by the Goodwin sensibility during their creation.
While working on the series I was also reading Pravda, a wonderful book by Edward Docx. I began to transpose sentences and phrases from this book as titles for the pieces. So I asked Edward and he very kindly gave me permission to use his words. It wasn't until later when I put the pieces in the series into a sort of order that a narrative, a story emerged. I added a few more words but really Edward's titles are the words which recount this tale. If you haven’t read his book I highly recommend it, it’s a keeper. You can find more information on the book and his work at www.edwarddocx.com.
To discover Betty Goodwin’s work for yourself, I urge you to visit The National Gallery of Canada, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal and The Art Gallery of Ontario. Various museums have produced catalogues of her exhibitions and a wonderful documentary on her life, titled “Betty Goodwin, Heart and Soul”, was produced by Claude Laflamme in 2002.
© liz davidson 2006-11 all rights reserved