Harriet Gooddall’s new work is woven from rural detritus, gathered from land in mourning for its decay.
Since childhood, Harriet Goodall found herself drawn to climb through fences and forage old house sites and farm rubbish dumps where old machinery rusts and falls apart or even cars burnt and left on roadsides. Harriet has always collected haunting relics from these sites and been intrigued by the mysterious energy that lingers when things are abandoned. Soon nature begins to reclaim the elements and the indelible marks of age and decay begin. What remains of us when we leave a place? How long do traces of us remain on the landscape?
I am forever circling back, not just in my dreams, but literally also to collect materials I find by the roadside or in the paddocks. I weave through these fences and burnt out car panels with naturally coloured fibres that mimic the scribbly lines of insects on bark, striations in granite boulders, wending rivers or sheep tracks in dry paddocks. My heart beats for the decay and beauty of inland Australia and this is an elegy for the loss of feeling that I belong there.
Raised in rural Australia, Harriet Goodall is a full-time sculptor and basket maker exploring the intersection of traditional craft with contemporary art and design. She has taught regular basketry classes for more than ten years in Australia and internationally and has pieces in private and commercial collections.
And some lines from the poem 100 (The Boys Who Stole The Funeral) by the recently departed Les Murray:
She goes to the rust-still, algae-curdled dam
that is level with the garden, allows the bucket sinkage,
watches her daughter and Reeby approach past the feed-shed
and hauls up the bucket, brimming with loose shine and life-chains.
Circling Back will be at Sturt Cnr Range Rd and Waverley Pde, Mittagong, NSW, Australia, from 9 June to 28 July.