Manchester Evening News
Review: Dryden's a screen star
CONTRASTS: Dryden Goodwin
AS CULTURE vultures flock to the Turner retrospective at Manchester Art Gallery, art of a very different kind is being exhibited on the same floor and, as first appearances go, the contrast couldn't be greater.
JMW Turner, one of Britain's most popular artists, used oil and watercolours to paint scenes that were a stage for human drama and he also drew on historical and mythological themes for his work.
Video artist Dryden Goodwin, on the other hand, has created an eight-screen video installation with a soundtrack.
"In Dilate I'm attempting to find a language to describe physical space, and to question the relationship between images and sound. The viewer is aware of their position within the octagonal space."
It sounds slightly pretentious and the explanation leaves me a bit nonplussed. But standing inside the video installation illustrates his point.
"You hover between being involved in what you're seeing and being aware of your role as a voyeur," he adds.
The eight screens are suspended from the ceiling and the panoramic images immerse the viewer with vivid scenes of city and country life. In open, unpopulated spaces, we can feel liberated, and in an urban scene we can feel alienated or anonymous.
One sequence, filmed aboard a Channel ferry, is exhilarating and unsettling. I am aware that I am on dry land, in a city centre art gallery, but the sounds of seagulls, the wind and day-trippers surround me, as do images of a deck, a funnel and vast stretches of water. I am part of the experience, yet I am not really there.
Goodwin acknowledges that his work will challenge visitors, saying: "I'm aware that there are different levels to my work, so people will have different interpretations of it."
The 32-year-old artist from London has also exhibited at Tate Britain where his audacious work Closer saw him use a laser beam to scrutinise figures in a way that could be erotic or menacing or playful.
Goodwin's work is daring, thought provoking and his installations are a talking point in the modern art world.