Noemie Goudal and new ideas

One of the best things about taking this MA is learning about other artists; thank you Wendy (McMurdo, my module tutor) for introducing me to Noemie Goudal.

Goudal’s work at first glance, for me, was perhaps not the type of imagery that would make me want to linger. Perhaps that’s because the first images I saw were from her Telluris series (see Fig. 1), which are rather angular in content. I’m not sure why an angular aesthetic makes me uncomfortable but I’m glad that I delved much deeper than my initial reaction implied.

Fig. 1: Goudal 2017. Telluris V.

Then I saw her work in situ (see Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: Goudal 2017. Telluris exhibition shot.

In my latest 1-2-1 with Wendy, she had spoken with me about how to consider creating work from a number of pieces to enable me to make the larger scale work I have in my mind, and suggested taking a look a Goudal.

When I first started my MA, I was adamant that my final show would not be in a gallery setting at all but outside in some shape or form. I have considered working with glass makers to create my work within glass so that it can be displayed at coastal locations, and even had initial conversations with a local firm about this. I have also imagined covering deckchairs in my cyanotype material and building a ‘beach’ inside the gallery space, enabling viewers to sit back and wiggle their toes in sand as they contemplate the hanging imagery and the story of the sand crisis, and I have thought about commissioning the making of a large scale hourglass timer that contains torn pieces of my work to replicate sand, which, with each turn, fall and create a new image contained within the confines of the glass.

All of these still have potential but I feel that personal circumstance may have curtailed my possibilities and this is a frustration. I do not have the financial resources to experiment with all of these ideas. To ensure I can complete an acceptable and professional final show for my MA, I have had to curtail myself to what my finances can afford.

But Goudal’s way of working, her use of photographing and rephotographing to create images that trick the eye, and use of outside space are worthy of fuller discussion.

Her series Haven Her Body Was is a study about isolation and remoteness. She creates the pictures by placing large paper images within the chosen landscape or abandoned building and rephotographing them, melding nature and the industrial, concrete and the ebb and flow of the ocean.

Fig. 3: Goudal 2012. Resevoir form Haven Her Body Was

This thought process and use of the environment is definitely appealing; and possibly not too costly (Goudal has ranged from placing 3 foot prints made from multiple images onto a wooden frame to involving teams and scaffolders to build various set ups, so I imagine her funding for each project varies).

Fig. 4. Goudal 2012. Exhibition view at Les Filles du Calvaire

I have made much of my latest Harena Now work at my local beach; not far from the shore is a disused tin mine. And this give me a new, local angle for Harena Now. Back in 2013 a company planned to start extracting sand from the seabed along the north Cornish coast to siphon out tailings (tin left over from the county’s tin mining hey day).

I will need to research further into the outcome of those particular plans but it it opens the door to how a global environmental problem is reflected on my own doorstep, where I make the work that reflects back the global problem.

Goudal’s methodology is very inspiring, and has provided food for thought for my main exhibition on July 26. Once I have formulated this more clearly I will outline my decision and process in a new post.


Figure 1. GOUDAL, Noemie. 2017. Telluris. [online]. Available at: [accessed June 3, 2018].

Figure 2. Telluris exhibition image. [online]. Available at: [accessed June 3, 2018].

Figure 3. GOUDAL, Noemie. 2012. Resevoir from Haven Her Body Was. [online]. Available at: [accessed June 3, 2018].

Fig. 4: Haven Her Body Was exhibition image at Les Filles de Calvaire. [online]. Available at: [accessed June 3, 2018].


GOUDAL, Noemie. [online]. Available at: [accessed June 3, 2018].

MORRIS, Jonathan. 2013. ‘Cornwall tin mining plans create deep divisions’. BBC. Available at: [accessed June 3, 2018].