We spend our lives surrounded by the security of possessions, relationships and roles, but our futures hold nothing so substantial; one day we must all enter into true not- knowing - into a dark, unconscious place.
Jasper Goodall’s nocturnal landscapes are a close encounter with this undomesticated realm. Each photograph asks the implicit question: what lies beyond the light?
The perception of the landscape is not a one way journey, we embellish places with imagination, memory, culture and spirituality. This understanding is central to Goodall’s work as he seeks to imbue the physical spaces that he photographs with palpable atmosphere.
"Perhaps a part of making these images in an attempt to understand the deaths I have experienced in my life - one for each of my adult decades: mother, father, sister. It is as if we all set out one morning for a walk in the sunshine, and as the day wore on, and I walked ahead, my family slowly dropped behind. I'm not sure where they went. I have a sense of me standing alone contemplating an uncertain future, and a strong awareness of my eventual and inevitable journey into that unknown place. " (Jasper Goodall)
His work is more fairytale than documentary as the viewer is transported into an eerie netherworld – a portrayal of reality that we are not used to seeing. After all: the night is when we dream – it is a wilderness unto itself. At night in a dark wood, one steps beyond the familiar trappings of human life and there is a powerful re-activation of childhood fears and wild imaginings; there is something almost regressive in the experience. Indeed, in folk and fairytale, the dark woods are often considered a metaphor for the unconscious mind; an internal wilderness populated with perils, terrors and half seen entities. However, in this space of diminished rationality there is perhaps, the potential of a proximity and a reconnection with a long lost sacredness.
About the Artist:
Born in Birmingham in 1973, Jasper Goodall studied at the University of Brighton, graduating in 1995 from the BA Illustration course.
He went on to become a highly influential illustrator and has worked with high profile clients from fashion brands to rock bands.
Widely published and much referenced, he was best known for his editorials in The Face Magazine, Dazed & Confused and his creation of ethereal imagery for the English rock band Muse.
He has had joint and solo shows in Tokyo, Hamburg and London.
In 2014 he left the world of commercial image making and spent several years training as a counsellor at the Psychosynthesis Trust in London. This hiatus provided the opportunity to take stock and re-imagine his creative output in a new and very different form, and he began using a camera to make images. He has returned to a creative practice with a radically different body of work, using photography as a means of expression.
Drawing on historical references, from Victorian taxidermy dioramas to romantic painting he seeks to articulate the hushed, waiting presence that is palpably felt between the dark boughs of a forest at night.
All works presented in this Online Exclusive feature ( I ) - are part of larger body of work from Nocturnal Landscape series and Twilight's Path. The 'Cedar' print from the Twilight's Path series on display in Royal Academy in London.
More edition prints from this series of the same work as well as other prints available via Artsy Online Exclusive and MMX Gallery.
Forthcoming solo show at MMX Gallery, London 2021 - exact dates TBC.