Inside this issue
Jasper Goodall is a British photographer and former illustrator who came into the public eye through his seminal illustration work in the early 2000s for The Face Magazine, and his 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 trained 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 form: photographically exploring the landscape at night. In addition to his photographic practice Goodall has been teaching creativity and visual communication at the University of Brighton for the last 20 years.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
It’s easy to think of the camera as being a box that records what we see, but that is just the beginning. It’s not just what we include, but what we exclude. And we each see differently. The process of making a photograph is akin to a performance, with the photographer as conductor. It’s up to us to decide what we reveal, where we want the emphasis, how loud or quiet the instruments are, and if we want a solo… We lay the ground, we set the scene, but then – commentary, titles, captions, artist statements aside - it’s up to the viewer to make the interpretation (and this can be a function of how long they choose to spend with a piece).
If your intention is to create a fairy tale, rather than reality, how do you go about it? That is the way that Jasper Goodall thinks about his photographs. To transport the viewer into this world, he removes the familiar (light) and limits the effectiveness of the sense that we all rely on the most - our sight. The commonplace becomes newly strange, the unfamiliar a chasm; what we don’t see is part of the story and we fill the spaces with our imagination.
Would you like to start by telling readers a little about yourself – where you grew up, your education and early interests, and what that led you to do?
I was born in Birmingham, UK, in 1973 and then moved south to study illustration at the University of Brighton. My mother was a political artist, photographer and curator, and my father an architect. I was guided by my father into illustration with the idea of there being more of a career at the end of study and after I graduated I began to pick up work as a commercial illustrator. I was young, into fashion and music, and my work back then reflected my interests. My early jobs were in editorial which in those days was all printed paper magazines. My big break came when I started working for The Face magazine which was kind of the font of all that was cool in the UK in terms of fashion and music and contemporary culture.