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Introduction by Louis de Berniere, Author.

Mark Goldsworthy is an artist who boldly establishes a presence in one’s life without any kind of fanfare. Anyone who drives past the village of Homersfield in North Suffolk will see a slightly worried looking man with a paddle in his hands, in a small boat, perched on the top of a tree trunk. It is so much a part of the landscape that it seems that it might have been there since time immemorial, to such an extent that some local people are surprised to see it when it is pointed out to them. Homersfield is on the River Waveney, so a small worried man in a boat is entirely appropriate. I have always felt that what worries him is being on the top of a tree trunk with the wrong equipment, rather than where he belongs, in the river.

I first became aware of Goldsworthy’s work because there was one such large carving in a garden in my village, on a lane normally travelled by only one or two people per diem. It became my habitual route home just because I liked the sculpture, and I was dismayed one day to find that it had been moved on.

Goldsworthy is an artisan artist with a powerful physical presence, whose work requires real craft and muscular strength. He makes beautifully proportioned gypsy caravans which are both practical, and beautifully carved. He will install carved barge boards on the gables of your house, or supply you with green men for the bosses of your beams, or mouldings made of resin for your ceiling, or a corbel table for your parapet. It might appear that he has three or four simultaneous careers, but I very much doubt if he sees it that way. Forks have three or four tines, and chairs have three or four legs, after all.

He says that his artistic work always begins with a feeling, and he then has to settle upon how that feeling is developed and expressed. For this he has a choice of painting, or carving in wood, alabaster and stone, or casting in bronze. In his workshop he has the maquettes for his sculptures, and I find them as interesting and enjoyable as the finished product, because you can see how concepts transform themselves during the creative process.

Goldsworthy’s paintings are full of life; not just with a human life, but also with that of animals and trees. They are the work of a countryman. He says that each of his eyes sees colours differently, so that the colours he settles upon are consequent upon which one is closed at the time of looking. However, his colours are certainly beyond realism; for example he might have patches of green or purple on the feathers of a white duck, but this would be how he conveys a sense of depth and shadow. Like most good artists he sees the colour behind the colour; where I would see green, he can see the brown or the lilac or the scarlet hidden within the green. Sometimes his lines are precise, and sometimes they are blurred and wavy, so that, in the former case, one is looking through a window at the world, and otherwise one is looking at a dream of it.

Characteristically (but certainly not always) he slightly distorts the familiar shapes of things so that we are challenged by seeing them in a new way. The paintings in this exhibition, with their strong swathes of unexpected colours, are inspired by the concept of the burlesque. They made me think of Degas’ paintings of dancers behind the scenes. The burlesque is all about entertaining people by means of irony, with an exaggeration that is comical on the surface but points to something tragic and sad when thought about at greater depth. There is an angularity to these figures which to me implies hunger or sickness, or the longing for something better and less superficial in this life, beyond projecting a persona or putting on a show, but this is always accomplished without sacrificing the natural exuberance of the subject.

His carvings are almost never angular, and Goldsworthy certainly doesn’t aspire to being a Giacometti. Although there is the practical business of finding the stone that fits the shape, or the shape that fits the stone, they are, I think, mainly the consequence of Goldsworthy’s joy in the natural pleasures of the hand as it runs on a curved surface. You get the same pleasure from running your hands over these sculptures as you do from stroking a horse, or the statues in Vigland’s Park in Oslo; but Goldsworthy’s figures are more curved and foreshortened, softened and rounded, than those of Vigland. They might remind you of the fertility figures of neolithic times, or of Celtic carvings, or the contemporary work of Emily Young, whose work I once characterised as being all about strength and gentleness. They have a mythic quality which implies a narrative that Goldsworthy has presumably already imagined, but which onlookers have to work out for themselves. Often they are in unusual postures, and frequently they have their eyes closed, as if it contemplation or ecstasy, or melancholy. Those whose eyes are open display the inscrutable expressions of those who can see something that we cannot. These figures are not about beauty or physical perfection, but are about the presentation of character, the privileging of presence over detail, the catching of mood rather than resemblance.

This exhibition is the result of three years’ work by an artist who is, happily, also a masterly craftsman. Goldsworthy is no pretentious naked emperor in pursuit of novelty. He is not clowning about, or jumping up and down crying ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ Goldsworthy invites us not to look at him, but at the world as he reshapes it, making a kind of poetry out of solid substance, and creating as many characters as a novelist.


Born  30.09.1962

Educated at Wymondham College,Norfolk
Foundation course at Great Yarmouth College of Art & Design
Worked as deckhand aboard 130 foot sailing barque
Worked as cellarman
BA (Hons) Fine Art.Manchester Polytechnic
Three month tour of European Galleries
Leased and managed group studios St. Mary's works,Norwich
Taught weekly life drawing class from studio
Itinerant artist in South Africa
Visit to the USA and New York galleries             
Birth of daughter Holly
Completed first hand made book of linocuts - Siddhartha
Painting stage set for The Rolling Stones World Tour
Moved to new studio
Formed the Broad Street Guild. A workshop of your craftsmen
Married Jan,Art Therapist
Birth of daughter Amber
Moved to current studio
"The last few years has been a search for a simplified form and purity of expression of the human spirit"


20th April 1990 "Arts Review" Ray Ruston
29th May 1992 "The Guardian" Angella Johnson
July/August1992 " Images" Editorial
April 1993 The Guardian Art for sale The catalogue of British Art today
January 2000 "Woodcarving Magazine News"
July 2001 "Craftsman Magazine"


1993 -15
foot sculpture 'Every seed is the future ' Holt Country Park
Sculpture 'Yes No Why Because ' Holt Country Park, Norfolk
Sculpture 'Sent from Heaven' The Front Row Arts Programme,Anglia TV
Sculpture for North Walsham Town Council
Sculpture 'Saint Martin's Day' ,CNS school,Norwich
Sculpture 'Saint Felix', Sandringham Estate, Norfolk
Sculpture 'River Story' Waveney District Council,Homersfield
Sculpture St Augustine's Healthy Living Centre,King's Lynn
2001 - 02
40 foot carved footbridge Highgate school, Kings Lynn
Sculpture 'Mum, bags brook …' South Norfolk District Council
Sculpture 'Bear and Raven' Sandringham Estate, Norfolk
Sculpture 'Day Out' Whitlingham lane Country Park, Norfolk
Sculpture 'St George', St Georges park,Great Yarmouth
2009 - 11
Sculpture 'Family Walk' The Walks,King's Lynn


Artist in Residence, King's Lynn Arts Centre, Norfolk
Artist in Residence, Holt Country Park, Norfolk
Artist in Residence, Ickworth House, Suffolk
Artist in Residence, Holt Country Park, Norfolk
Residence with Gaspare de Brescia,San Pantaleo, Sardinia


Whitworth Young Contemporaries, Manchester
Print Show,Contact Gallery,Norwich
Galleries Gay, Dinard ,France
One man Show,The Assembly Rooms, Norwich
Centre d'Art Contemporaire, Rouen; France
One man show, Chappel galleries, Essex
Printworks, Colchester, Essex
Knapp gallery, London
The gallery, Norfolk Institute of Art and Design
The Pastel Society, Mall Galleries, London
Galerie IV Gay, Dinard, France
Gallery 45, Norwich
Laing Art Competition, Ipswich
One man show, Contact Gallery, Norwich
One man show, King of Hearts, Norwich
Bankside Open Print Competition, London
One man show, L'Orangerie, Valenciennes, France
Artist in Residence, The Circus Project,King's Lynn
Wilde Contemporary Art, Mall Galleries, London
One man show,The Old Workshop Gallery, Corpusty, Norfolk
Chappel Gallery, Essex
Splinter Gallery,London
Wilde Contemporary Art, South Audley Street Gallery, London
Fith Avenue, Johannesburg, South Africa
Wilde Contemporary Art, The Hyde Park Gallery, London
Laing Art Competition, Bury St Edmunds & Mall Galleries
One man show, The Old Workshop Gallery, Corpusty,Norfolk
Art for Sale, Bayswater, London
Gallery 12B, Norway
Hall Gallery, London
Wilde Contemporary Art, Wasserturm, Vienna, Austria
Artist in Residence,Holt Country Park
One man show, Chappel Gallery, Essex
Wilde Contemporary Art, Mall Galleries, London
Paul Fowler Studio, Yaohan Plaza, London
Open Drawing Competition, Cheltenham
Norfolk and Norwich Arts Festival, Norfolk
Unicorn Pictures, London
East West Gallery, London
Artist in Residence, Ickworth House, Suffolk
Artist in Residence, Holt Country Park
Edith Grove Gallery, London
Sculpture Trail, Bergh Apton, Norfolk
John Innes Institute,Norwich
Utraque Lungo, Vienna, Austria
Art Connoisseur Gallery, London
Working on Commissions
New York Art Fair, USA
Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail, Norfolk
Chappel Gallery, Essex
Working on Commissions
Working on Commissions
Martin Tinney Gallery at Cork St, London
British Art Fair, London
“Gold Medal Winners Exhibition, National Eisteddfod”
Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales
Langham Fine Art, Bury St. Edmunds
Martin Tinney Gallery at Cork St., London
Light and Space, Salthouse, Norfolk
One man show, Chappel Gallery, Essex
Working on Commissions
Working on Commissions
Working on Commissions
Working on Commissions
Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail, Norfolk
The Rooms Gallery, Llandeilo, Wales
Working on Commissions
Working on Commissions
Working on Commissions
The Walled Garden, Loddon, Norfolk
Taith Contemporary Art, Wittgenstein Haus, Vienna
Snape Maltings, Suffolk
Peter Pears Gallery, Aldeburgh
Working on Commissions
Marks Hall, Coggeshall, Essex
The Walled Garden, Loddon, Norfolk
The Chapel, Norwich
Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire
One man show, Chappel Gallery, Essex
Marks Hall, Coggeshall, Essex


North Norfolk District Council
North Walsham Town Council
Waveney District Council
South Norfolk District Council
Norwich City Council
CNS school
Sandringham Estate
Bayfield Hall

Private collections in : United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, USA, Canada, South Africa





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