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Leeds based printmaker Janis Goodman focuses on the relationships between the natural and urban worlds in her etchings, with the patterns and repetition of nature juxtaposed with those of manmade structures.
She has a background in architecture but alongside this she was a cartoonist, with work published in Spare Rib, the New Statesman and as part of the feminist Sour Cream. She moved from London in 1982 to work with Leeds Animation Workshop, making feminist films on social issues for nearly thirty years. She was responsible for many of the films’ backgrounds, drawing landscapes and buildings in different styles and materials. In the 1980s she started a printmaking evening class at Leeds College of Art and Design. Its aim was to teach all print techniques, but she realised straight away that etching was the technique she found the most appealing. Her past practices in architecture and animation fed into the images she etched. Living in Chapeltown and working in Harehills made her aware of the beauty of dense urban landscapes.
“My prints are small narratives in which different elements meet and interact. The choice of subject matter is visceral – I get a feeling that this is the view, the collection of shapes, which I wish to reassemble. Much of the work concerns places I know well, views I look at constantly and which have become an integral part of my mind’s eye. I enjoy the act of repetition – but I also like to stop and reconfigure. I am attracted to the unusual in the midst of the everyday. I try to avoid sentimentality but try to focus on the quirky and the irregular.”