General Artist Statement...
Gooding's work has largely been grounded in a systems based drawing practise that explores how a complex structure can be generated from the methodical repetition of a singular linear form.
Through a process of superimposition and repetition, he employs simple mathematical and geometric devices that determine the aesthetic nature of the work. The result is a physical manifestation of the tension between the line and an underpinning system, the one thing being defined by the other. Central to his thinking is the idea of great complexity being derived from great simplicity.
Although these works often appear mechanically produced, they are in fact laboriously hand crafted and on closer inspection one may discern the errors and imperfections that attest to this. This lends the work a more tactile quality that alludes to a sense of time. Like geological strata, the laying down of line after line over hours, days and weeks evokes a sensation of time being spanned and the repetitive nature of the work becomes an almost meditative act.
The scored work lies at a boundary between drawing and sculpture. Each line is scored by hand directly into a metallic surface creating a kinetic movement of light that follows the curvature of the line. This dynamic phenomena is entirely relational to, and animated by, the changing proximity of the viewer.
Once the formal qualities of a line have been decided it is made up into a "profile" whereby the initial line will either be transcribed and cut by hand into a sheet material or, more recently, laser-cut into sheet steel. This "profile", is the tool by which Gooding is then able to make a repeat of the line by using it as a guide for the score.
He then methodically transcribes this line for as many times as is required in order to fill the picture plane. Often he will pivot the profile around certain predetermined points measured along the edge of the work so that the line sweeps out and rotates in strong geometric arch's. The result is a mercurial surface that is determined by the geometry of the line but is responsive to the movements of the viewer.
Printmaking has always been a key part of Gooding's practise. He does not approach it as a means of reproducing an image but as a vital process in and of itself. The prints he makes are all unique and could not be made by any other means.
A line will be drawn by hand. This will then be repeated at regular integers in a parallel fashion such that no line superimposes another until a block of lines has been made. Due to the identical nature of each line, the block has a sense of a unified movement. This is then exposed onto a screen and used as a motif that can be in turn repeated.
A single point will be selected within the bounds of the linear block which will act as an axis of rotation. The block will then be repeated as an overprint around that point with each successive layer moving at regular integers. With each repeat, a pattern of increasing complexity emerges.
The curvature of the initial line, the number of lines that make up a block, the point of rotation, the eccentricity of the rotation, the number of repeats, the colour and thickness of the lines, the transparency or opacity of the ink are all variables that can be changed and each has a dramatic effect on how the final work will look.
In every print though, one can discern an order in the layers of pattern and although these works might be visually complex, there is a clear structure that emerges.
Gooding works exclusively with pure linear form. Initially these were highly intuitive, gestural marks tempered by a certain muscle memory. There is an unplanned spontaneity implicit in such automatic marks which sit in tension with the rigidity of the system that is employed to generate the work.
More recently, he has been working with drawing programmes which allow him to plot geometric points that relate to various ratios within the dimensions of the work. He then uses a curvature function that intersects these points creating lines that rely more on adjusting certain mathematical values which in turn determine eccentricity, balance and curvature.
They are in some ways more refined than the automatic drawn marks, but in both cases it is that tension between linear form and mathematical system that activates the work.
Through his practise, Gooding has become fascinated with the phenomenological nature of line. Bound within the act of tracing a line from point "a", to point "b", one can find the origination of all creative endeavours. From the writing of a sonnet to an architectural blue print, the musical notation of an Opera to the composition of a painting, that kinetic instant whereby a single point is exploded into a line is a fundamental human compulsion and the generator of meaning where none existed. It is the foundational movement out of which our psychological, intellectual and emotional capacities manifest.