I am a painter and I write poetry, often producing my best work when I’m bored. I have lots of exhibitions in places around the world. I teach at various colleges and universities, run workshops in drawing, painting and printmaking, and I perform my poems live and sometimes record them with a variety of musicians. I like animals and thunderstorms and lots of other things that end up in my pictures and writing.
Dark Night, Bright Day: a short documentary made by Empire State Films:
is a painter and poet. His imagery is resoundingly direct, unbothered by artistic self-consciousness and politeness; unrefined, unmannerly yet sensitive. He simply wishes to say ‘hello’ to the world as it passes him by.
Gary has exhibited his paintings and prints and has performed his poetry around the world: from the frozen wastes of Norway and Alaska down to the warmth of New Zealand and the Southern States of USA.
He works from his shed at the end of the garden in Sussex.
‘There is a good deal of the shamanic in Goodman.’
Prof Michael Tucker
‘Gary Goodman is driven – his work is elemental, searching, honest’
‘gary goodman is not trying to impress anyone with his art
gary goodman is merely saying hello with some drawings’
‘Goodman’s paintings, with their fear, their pain, colour, beauty, truth, have touched my soul.’
‘Far from brutal, Goodman’s way of painting is highly poetic…Primitive? Crude? I marvel at his lyricism and beauty.’
Prof Norbert Lynton
Bright Enough to Face the Darkside
Gary Goodman must be tired of people regurgitating the same old story about him.
I like to think he might be looking for someone to cut deeper, to say something with more meaning, to ask the question, who the hell does Gary Goodman think he really is!?
The consensus seems to be that Gary inspires comment and drama. His art isn’t something to decorate someone else’s life. His art is about another world born of this world. You might not want to look at his work because it seems forever winter, cold and sad – a world beyond the wardrobe. But in amongst the ice, the barren space and the slices of deep cut red, there is an unbearable attraction, a familiarity to think about: a longing.
I wonder if there is something primeval in these works, something of the world before language and time led us away from the core of ourselves. Do people today think of God as hearts and flowers, whereas Gary shows us God is an earthquake, a hurricane, an aftermath, more powerful than we can possibly imagine…more than we can bear?
Dark Night Bright Day is an exhibition of real power, not respectable, not refined. It has strength in its rawness. Give it some time. Come back and look again. It is easy to dismiss something you can’t face. It’s a challenge to look into another world and be shocked to find there is something to remind you of what’s going on in yours.
Gary Goodman – Everything is Everything (London Centre for Psychotherapy 2011)
“Animals are so like men that sometimes it’s impossible to tell them apart.” (K’nyo Mobuto)
Here is a selection of work that I‘ve made recently. I’ve been spending much time with my daughters and also taking my dog Darlene out for regular walks on the Downs, in the woods, by the sea; I loved seeing her little doggy face panting and smiling, chasing her ball with wind blowing through her grey hair. We had good times and we’d talk about things. We saw meadowlarks, rabbits and squirrels, and we met some cows. I had intense dreams at night.
One day I saw some horrible kids tormenting a puppy on a lead. I couldn’t do anything as I was in a car, and there was nowhere to stop. I was very upset and wrote a poem about it which ended…
“…all you have to do is take some time
look into the eyes of any living animal
and if you have any warm human blood
flowing through your body
you wouldn’t ever behave like that”