Joseph Goddard

Artist

Artist website for Joseph Goddard.

Leeds based artist concerned with postwar architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, Brutalism.

City of Nithstang

Nithstang refers to a Germanic pagan cursing tradition. The practice involved impaling the head of a dead horse on the end of a long wooden ‘nithing’ pole which was directed towards the enemy and target of the curse.

In this body of work Goddard presents urban spaces as kaleidoscopic labyrinthine structures which appear to be simultaneously spiraling outwardly and collapsing in on themselves. These contorted, maddening perspectives offer a framework through which to view ghostly specters snared in the throes of pain. Blunt concrete trauma and lacerating shards puncture anonymous forms distorted with agony. The work is a visceral and asserting combining of modern architectural structures, symbolizing the differing strata of social and economic classes. These forms are melded into a singular mass of structural violence devoid of humanity and confront the viewer to bear witness to the twenty first century horror.

With use of low-fi cut and paste techniques the work draws on Situationist and Punk aesthetics which energize the work with the same furry that empowered the movements from the 50’s and 70’s. The surfaces of the piece are torn apart by piercing concrete architecture, erupting viciously from a figure entrapped in torment. Beneath the skin and bone of the subjects, out of sight of the viewer the forms splinter without logic, without remorse and rupture sadistically. The work attests to the proliferation of urbanism in its most unrelenting, specious and dispassionate trajectory. 

City of Nithstang takes on the appearance of a medieval science fiction or worse yet, contemporary sacrificial barbarism. The series draws on Nordic traditions and dark age practices enacted in a modern context; an allegory for the brutal, dehumanizing effects of global cities which ward off and curse its victims, cities in which impact is inevitable and escape is impossible.

City of Nithstang (No. 6)

City of Nithstang (No. 6)

Ghosts of Nithstang (No. 1) abandons structural forms and urban environments to explore the emotional and psychological state which Goddard associates the global city space. The work features writhing tormented figures devoid of the context; lost, alienated, brutalised and contorted in agony. The ‘Ghosts of Nithstang’ do not offer reason or explanation and exist as purely as an evocation of emotion.

Ghosts of Nithstang (No. 1) abandons structural forms and urban environments to explore the emotional and psychological state which Goddard associates the global city space. The work features writhing tormented figures devoid of the context; lost, alienated, brutalised and contorted in agony. The ‘Ghosts of Nithstang’ do not offer reason or explanation and exist as purely as an evocation of emotion.