Environmental Matters

Some of the features on this page require that JavaScript be enabled.
view previous artwork view next artwork
208
209
Nest and Stone No. 2
nest, sculptural form, etching, print, image, message, environment, camouflage, protection, life philosophy, menacing, small bird, peaceful environment, sculpture, habitat, survival,communication, failure, ecology, communicate a message, conflicting meanings, plexiglass, threatening environment, bird's nest,menacing, retreat, safe environment, manufacturing, destruction of beauty,
description

The MacKenzie Art Gallery has in its  collectionTo collect is to accumulate objects. A collection is an accumulation of objects. A collector is a person who makes a collection. (Artlex.com)  two Goodwin works containing the image of a nest. One is the sculptural  formIn its widest sense, total structure; a synthesis of all the visible aspects of that structure and of the manner in which they are united to create its distinctive character. The form of a work is what enables us to perceive it. Form also refers to an element of art that is three-dimensional (height, width, and depth) and encloses volume. For example, a triangle, which is two-dimensional, is a shape, but a pyramid, which is three-dimensional, is a form. Cubes, spheres, ovoids, pyramids, cone, and cylinders are examples of various forms. Also, all of the elements of a work of art independent of their meaning. Formal elements are primary features which are not a matter of semantic significance — including colour, dimensions, line, mass, medium, scale, shape, space, texture, value; and the principles of design under which they are placed — including balance, contrast, dominance, harmony, movement, proportion, proximity, rhythm, similarity, unity, and variety. (Artlex.com)  (Nest and Stone No. 2) seen here, while the other is an etching/ink  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  titled Nest Four with Definition (1973). The  printAn exactly repeatable visual statement which exists as two-dimensional physical material.  has a beautifully drawn image of a nest with the definition of a nest written in pencil below the drawing: “A small cozy retreat or place of residence, a haunt, a place of habitual resort; a snuggery. The abode of anything evil, baneful; as in a nest of rogues; a nest of vice.”

Goodwin

These two works provide a good example of an artist working within a theme using completely different materials to communicate a message. The conflicting meanings in the print took form in the sculpture. 

The bottom nest in Goodwill’s small plexiglass cabinet references a safe, healthy and peaceful environment. Goodwin uses an actual nest of a small bird. It is a  foundAn image, material, or object, not originally intended as a work of art, that is obtained, selected, and exhibited by an artist, often without being altered in any way. The cubists, dadaists, and surrealists originated the use of found images / materials / objects. Although it can be either a natural or manufactured image / material / object, the term readymade refers only to those which were manufactured. Also known in the French, objet trouvé. (Artlex.com)  object from the environment where the bird ‘parents’ worked cooperatively to create a place to raise their young and prepare them for survival.

The top nest is constructed in much the same fashion, but the materials used are nails, wire and magnets. This man-made object is twisted and bent into a menacing form suggesting a threatened or uncomfortable home. Ecologically, this form could suggest a world where manufacturing and progress have destroyed or replaced the beauty of the natural environment. Philosophically, it could reference how life is not always as we would want it to be.

start quoteThe only way I can deal with what is going on in the world is if I bring it out in the drawing, which is never enough. It is never going to change a goddamn thing.end quote-- Betty Goodwin (Mayes 1993)

A nest is also a camouflaged spot where a criminal would hide. Might the rock be protecting the innocent below from the evil above? Gary Michael Dault gives further insights into Goodwin‘s sculptures when he notes they are, “…inescapably about surviving, about those who prevail (not just politically but within the givens of the human condition). Her insistently elegiac sculptural pieces, elegant though they may be, seem mostly to be about confinement, internment, about the beleaguered body, about distress and its resolution.” (Dault, 2004)

Goodwin

Traditionally understood, a rock is strong and unyielding. In her work, could Goodwin have placed it as an obstacle between the two images/ideas, like the old saying, “between a rock and a hard place?” Considered metaphorically, the rock could have a deeper meaning, as writer John Grande suggests: “Goodwin’s work clearly addresses our painful, dispossessed state of being - our failure to communicate.” (Grande, 1991)

additional resources Things to Think About
Advanced Activity

Find out more about Betty Goodwin at:

Online Activity
Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.

Move each image to a house below, placing the images on the chimney.  Notice how changing the image changes the meaning.  You can alter the  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  of the image or the houses by using the brush tool (first, select a  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  in the  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  box drop-down menu, then turn on the brush tool).

Studio Activity

Drawing

Brian Johnson quotes Goodwin, “In  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  I can pull out what I want. It has an immediacy” and adds “Drawing also allows Goodwin to let her work evolve through a constant process of erasing and revision.” (Johnson 1998)

  • Begin a drawing of an object or person on a large piece of paper.
  • As you work and make “mistakes”, erase the marks but let the ghost of the mistakes remain.
  • When finished drawing, look at the resulting image and decide what you can do to incorporate those “mistakes” into the design.  These marks may add a sense of movement and enliven the image.

Human condition

As stated in the Canada Council of the Arts Jury Citation about Goodwin, “Her trademark images of vests, shirts, gloves, various industrial artefacts and the human body speak of longing, loss, tragedy, memory and the struggle of hope and resilience.”

  • Use everyday objects found in the home or nature, to speak about a greater human condition. 

Printmaking

“Much of Goodwin’s work is black-and-white. And when she resorts to colour, [Jessica] Bradley notes, the artist does so mainly “for dramatic effect. The images carry the meaning of the work.” (Driedger 1995)

step 1 step 2 step 3 step 4 step 5

References

Dault, Gary Michael. ‘An Unabashedly Moving Experience.’ Globe and Mail, October 30, 2004.

Driedger, Sharon Doyle. ‘Bodies and Blood: Betty Goodwin Depicts Profound Inner Landscapes.’ MacLeans, December 4, 1995.

Freedman, Adele. ‘Swimmer.’ Canadian Art, Winter 1984.

Grande, John K. ‘Betty Goodwin.’ Art Forum, November 1991.

Hanna, Deirdre. ‘Betty Goodwin: Brutal Truths Gnaws at Canadian Art Icon.’ Toronto Now, November 12-18, 1998.

Hume Christopher. ‘Reluctant Art-Star Lets Her Paintings Do the Talking.’ The Toronto Star, Saturday, November 21, 1998.

Johnson, Brian. ‘Body Language.’ MacLeans, November 30, 1998.

Mays, John Bentley. ‘Plumbing the Depths of the Unsayable.’ The Globe and Mail, Sunday June 6, 1992.

---. ‘With Steel In Her Heart and Iron In Her Soul.’ The Globe and Mail, Saturday, April 24, 1993.

---. ‘Betty Goodwin Given Her Due.’ National Post, November 18, 1998.

Jury Citation. News Release. Canada Council of the Arts. 2003.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning