01 June 2020


These Extraordinary Times with Dryden Goodwin

Q & A

Empty Street. Image: Courtesy the Artist

These Extraordinary Times with Dryden Goodwin

LP: How has your daily routine changed?

DG: The rhythm between days working in my studio and two days a week at the Slade has all changed. We hunkered down with our two sons for the first stretch of weeks, as we all tried to orientate ourselves to the changing circumstances. The Slade building closed and working with colleagues we’ve been doing our best to support students in these difficult times, moving all contact on-line as we’re adapting to temporarily being a digital community. I’m working more in the studio now, on new projects and proposals after many were put in limbo and exhibitions closed early. New situations make you rethink, consider new approaches and new ideas. Running is always important, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the evening, I love the parks near our home.

LP: Many artists work in solitude ordinarily. How has isolation or social distancing affected you in these times?

DG: I’ve always been excited living in the city, making work from the energy and the abundance of being among people, then sometimes retreating to make work alone. I’m interested in the shifting space between people - strangers, family, friends - navigating distance and proximity. In these times of social distancing, this is all up in the air, we experience familiar relationships differently, a new paradigm. Having to keep away from loved ones who are more vulnerable, developing exaggerated experiences of closeness remotely. You find yourself speaking more to neighbours, the sense of where and how you live changes. It draws into sharp focus the way you map fundamentals, as new separations and connections are processed.

LP: If there is any silver lining, what is it?

DG: Living in South East London the acoustic change has had impact, at times it’s felt like our home has been transported. Where we would usually hear aeroplanes every few minutes and the cars from the main road a few streets away, it's felt more like a village, I’ve enjoyed the new soundscape. It’s like the birds have ordinarily had to shout above the background sounds, now still with their voices raised their music rings out clear, far and wide, something beautiful found among the sadness of many of the experiences all around. You can only hope among the new dynamics and heightened consciousness in the country about the vulnerability of people and the environment, that the government changes priorities radically beyond the lockdown, putting more support where it’s needed.

LP: Make up your own question and answer it:

DG: What are you looking forward to? Being able to watch my sons play team sports again