Goodie
www.goodie-was-here.com


Goodie grew up in Canberra, and moved to Melbourne in 2014, where they have been living since. Goodie is primarily a painter, creating murals and site-specific interventions as well as works in the studio. They also have tendencies for installation, sculpture and poetry. Their work in each medium is linked by an underlying interest in the familiar and the domestic, and in particular, how recognisable objects, people and spaces can be 'unknown' and understood according to different narratives or structures. Goodie has exhibited and painted walls extensively throughout Australia and overseas. Recently they curated Intermission project, an immersive exhibition involving over 40 artists at the old Collingwood Arts Precinct in Melbourne. Their most recent exhibition was Where’s Your Helmet Sweetheart?, a joint show with Kitt Bennett at Marfa Gallery in Melbourne. Goodie completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at the VCA in 2016.

Goodie Mural
Mural
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Goodie

Short interview

What is the narrative behind your work? In other words, what inspires you?

 

The most familiar, everyday phenomena fascinate me. I love when something that should work doesn’t work, or slants or warps. I think generally my work is about rethinking my relationship to the things we take for granted, and about ‘unknowing’ the familiar. I’m interested in drawing attention to the narratives that have become normalised, that are rinsed and repeated over and over.

This opens up possibilities for new ways of being and seeing, where we can tell new narratives involving maybe familiar characters, but not as we know them.

 

I’m thinking and looking at chairs at the moment, and power lines. I’m interested in utility objects and artefacts around us that support our bodies, transport energy, live above us on the ceiling and rotate – which happen so often we’re sometimes blind to them, and how we notice them when they don’t work. I trip through phases of different interests in different things. I have to keep editing my bio to make it more general, so that everything I’ve been interested in over the past few years is all relevant under the umbrella.

What is the feminine for you and how does it impact your work?

I was born a female. Everything I have experienced I have experienced through a female body. I don’t often think about myself as a woman though, and recently I’ve started to identify as pangender to align with this feeling. This embraces the feminine aspects of my personality, and my growth as a human in a female body and dealing with everything that comes with it, as well acknowledging the non-feminine aspects of my identity. Expressing my gender as non-binary has made me feel more myself, and able to communicate more clearly to others how I feel on the inside. I am still a female though. This bodily reality often plays out in my work, whether subtley or overtly, like painting my feet into an installation or deciding to paint a brick wall period blood colour.

 

My art roots are in graffiti and urban art. I found my artistic voice painting in drains, underpasses and abandoned buildings in Canberra, and leaving drawings and phrases on bins or power boxes. I loved the anonymity of painting under an alias, and felt at home in the male dominated graffiti scene. Honestly I think I was saved by my vagina on multiple occasions though. Most graffers in Canberra wouldn’t damage their reputation by racking paint from a girl. I used to paint in floral skirts, and loved this. I didn’t look like the stereotypical painter wandering out of construction sites or drains, and I had an advantage in this. I don’t paint on the streets as much now though, my work has started to embrace other aspects of my femininity and identity. Softer things, pink things, domestic things, are often associated with femininity - I don’t believe in masculine and feminine characteristics but I’ve been thinking about the things people associate with gender constructs, and trying to reclaim and repackage these characteristics – by placing them in public spaces, warping them, or using them in installations that make you feel uncomfortable. Inserting them into different narratives slants the associations and contributes to dismantling stigmas.

 

 Can you tell us about some of the challenges you face as a female artist / non-binary femme artist?

 

I look like a young woman. And there’s a lot of moments where I wish I wasn’t treated like one. I don’t like being called ‘sweetheart’, ‘darling’ or ‘love’ by a man who doesn’t know me. Or touched inappropriately. I’ve been grabbed on the ass while exiting small town pubs, I’ve been told I look like a monkey for having hairy legs. When completing a course for a lift licence I’ve been treated like I couldn’t possibly know what I’m doing because I’m female and might struggle with the tasks because I’m female. People try to set me up with guys when it’s inappropriate and I’m working. I’ve been working on a lot of large scale and construction jobs recently, as well as completing jobs and residencies in rural towns across Aus, where I frequently feel like I’m treated like a pet, not taken seriously, or inadequate for the job, because of my sex and age. There’s piles of condescending tones, sleezey tones, general sexism and homophobia in the spaces I enter and exit. Being female means you have to overcompensate across a lot of boards. And this in combination with incorrect and narrow assumptions of your gender and sexuality leads to a lot of discomfort and disempowerment.

 


 In a few words, can you share with us what have been some of the key elements to develop your artistic career?

 

I can’t remember the first time I sat on a chair but I wish it could, it was probably momentous and subtle. It’s hard to mark out a linear path between experiences and what manifests in your work, like why I’m now drawn to chairs. Small and seemingly insignificant parts of your cumulative experience catch and connect sometimes to lead you in particular directions. A few things that stick out as shaping my lifestyle and the way I express myself artistically would include beginning to use spray paint back in 2011, starting to take note of the words I was thinking while painting or thinking about painting that led to an interest in poetry, moving to Melbourne in 2014 (which connected me to wide group of other artists, music, ideas and took me to places mentally I hadn’t been), working out of a studio at Juddy Roller, experiencing rain in a corridor of an abandoned house once which made me feel something I’ve been trying to communicate through installation works since, and also studying art at VCA.