Exhibition on Display: March 25 - April 29, 2023 | Works By: Joshua Goode
FORT WORKS ART is pleased to present THE RUINS OF BURG WORTH, a solo
exhibition by North Texas artist and curator, Joshua Goode. Goode's first show at the
gallery will feature a collection of created artifacts and remnants of an "ancient" past,
while incorporating elements of performance art and an interactive installation. This
exhibition opens on Gallery Night, Saturday, March 25, 2023, with a reception from 12 PM
to 9 PM, and will be on display until Saturday, April 29, 2023.
THE RUINS OF BURG WORTH is a reimagined history of Fort Worth - one where
our city sits upon an ancient fortress both destroyed and preserved by the eruption of
Eagle Mountain. By creating sarcophagi and various remains reminiscent of the eruption
of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D., Goode creates a new and imagined world that is full of
extinct animals, objects, and artifacts. He challenges what we have learned throughout
history in his development of these fictitious civilizations. Through his own research
of local culture and his experience in the archaeological field, Goode aims to expose
"the malleability of our past, present and future" and the ease at which history can
Goode's work deals with intense themes of death, burial, preservation, and memory.
Interwoven into this work are his personal memories and experiences from his youth,
within his own family, and as a father. The exploration of these relationships,
specifically that with his sister, informs his creations, and has been the cornerstone
of his work since his early career. We see moments of a youth spent at Lakota Sioux
sweat lodges, spiritual ceremonies, and religious rituals manifested in his hand-crafted
leather and beadwork. We see his deep roots in North Texas that date back to the late
19th century, expressed in his selection of local found objects that he repurposes. Barn
wood and even full-sized barn doors become "ancient" relics that all tie back to his
family's history in the region, reaffirming the importance of materials used once upon a time.
Counter to these intense themes of shared existence, we see the more isolated parts of
Goode's past. Dealing with such mature experiences as a child, he retreated into his own
world by becoming engrossed in various television programming that provided him with
comfort and distraction. These programs acted in opposition to his own often harsh
realities and aided in developing a more humorous artistic language that is full of
pop culture iconography.
Using humor to deflect the emotionally taxing aspects of his work, Goode is able to
merge these worlds. This is clearly apparent in the piece "Hulktaur", a bronze sculpture
representing an invented creature. Goode takes these physical manifestations further, by
surrounding them with a contextual description. He describes this particular work as
being, "Discovered during an excavation in London," and being "a representation of the
legendary half man, half dinosaur, that were thought to inhabit remote wooded areas. In
much of Rhoman art, they appear in combat with humans and, by implication, are the
antithesis of civilized men." This tongue-in-cheek dialogue created by Goode in his work
is both unique and relatable.
In announcing The Ruins of Burg Worth, Fort Works Art owner & director Lauren Saba stated,
"The stories Goode creates concurrent with his artworks, take us on a journey to a new,
yet ancient world. A journey where you can explore, imagine, and create. A world where
your most vivid imaginations are physicalized, and your mind is allowed to dream."
Inspired by 19th - century natural history museums, Goode will display a wide variety of
"discoveries", which at first glance, are both curious and deceptive. The exhibition will
include various collections of items, including cast bronze works that are tarnished with
the green coating of oxidation, smaller pewter works hand-painted with gold, and larger
works displayed with a monumental significance that is indicative of a more developed
and evolved civilization from the past. These treasures will be presented as invaluable
mementos. By bearing witness to these recently uncovered and impressively intact relics,
the viewer can act as the expert historian, archaeologist, or even storyteller, as
conversations of a shared history are prompted.
Combined with the works Goode will have on display, there will also be an installation
that will allow visitors to participate in the "discovery" of a selection of artifacts.
These interactive elements will allow each individual to leave traces of their presence
at the exhibition, and the gallery will be transformed into a collaborative art incubator
for the community.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1981, Joshua Goode is researching and developing mythic
historical misinterpretations and manipulations. Having studied history and worked as
an archaeologist on many actual excavations, he conducts staged excavations around the
world, working with the community as a performance. His ‘artifacts' have been exhibited
in solo exhibitions in international venues such as the Razliv Museum, St. Petersburg,
(Russia); Capellades Museum, Barcelona, (Spain); Zendai Museum of Modern Art,Shanghai,
(China); Darb 1718 in Cairo, (Egypt); LaSala Gallery, Zaragoza, (Spain); Galerija
Miroslav Kraljevic, Zagreb, (Croatia); Borey Gallery, St. Petersburg, (Russia),the
Monchskirchein Museum, Salzwedel, (Germany), James Freeman Gallery, London, (England),
Maxim Boxer Gallery, Moscow, (Russia), Galerie Van Caelenberg, Aalst (Belgium), and Ivy
Brown Gallery, New York, (USA).
Goode received his MFA from Boston University and has participated in residencies in
Russia, Germany, Finland, Norway, and Spain and was a researcher on an archaeological
dig for the University of Tübingen at Vogelherd Cave in Germany. He received the Dozier
Award from the Dallas Museum of Art and is currently the Chair of the Fine Arts
Department at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas.
Tejuola, Scary Curl
Fort Works Art - Michele Tejuola Turner: Lines Of Descent
Exhibition on Display: March 25th - April 29, 2023 | Works By: Michele Tejuola Turner
FORT WORKS ART is pleased to announce artist Michele Tejuola Turner's first solo
exhibition in the North Texas region, TEJUOLA: LINES OF DESCENT. This exhibition is a
retrospective with works spanning a period of over four decades and will be an intimate
display of around a dozen gourds, each one recounting personal and collective narratives.
Lines of Descent opens on Gallery Night, Saturday, March 25, 2023, with a reception from
12:00 PM to 9:00 PM, and will be on display until Saturday, April 29, 2023.
Tejuola does not fit into any established categories within the art world. Her chosen
media is American gourds and African calabashes, which are carved, and hand-painted with
narratives of ancestry relating to the African and African American experience. She
elevates this traditional craft above that of just an artisan into one of an artist. This
is done through her intricate and sophisticated figuration coupled with design elements
that together create a visual vocabulary that transforms the craft into fine art.
At the heart of her work, Tejuola is a storyteller. She does not shy away from any
subject material and directly addresses issues dealing with diaspora, race, motherhood,
and femininity. She explores the intersections of her identity, her ancestors, and the
stories of people who could have been her predecessors. Tejuola's commitment to the
organic vessels as her medium displays her devotion to maintaining a connection with
her cultural heritage, highlighting "the land and stories that inspire [her]."
Influenced by her early exposure to African culture at the African American Community
Center in Atlanta, her ideas began to formulate. Through dance, music, and other various
classes at the center, Tejuola met many individuals who would prove to be her mentors in
their teachings about their African heritage and culture. She was exposed extensively to
the Yoruba priesthood and the dancing and singing that she experienced during the
initiation ceremonies had a profound effect on her and the stories that she wanted to
begin telling. Her fascination with African myths and folktales began to be explored
through her carving and painting of the gourds. It was her way to understand the stories
she was hearing in order to create her own personal references to remember.
Tejuola explains the inspiration for these pieces. She says, "Stories drive me. My early
work was inspired by stories from West African religion and mythology. In recent years,
my focus has shifted to sharing stories that connect to my ancestral past and capture my
experiences as an African American woman..."
Seeing that the arduous task of drying the gourd properly to carve, and the physical
strength necessary to carve this substrate exists, it is typically dominated by male
carvers of the craft. Tejuola is a diminutive figure with an internal roar that is
seeking attention for these works and these stories. She has had to find a way to work
around this limitation in order to refine her designs and create the depth she seeks
in her art. She has achieved this by using an electric tool that gives her a truly
unique signature in her carving process, allowing her cuts to be both deep and delicate.
After the images and words are engraved to her satisfaction, Tejuola uses acrylic paint
to create further dimension and intricacy, pushing her ideas and stories to completion.
In announcing Lines of Descent, Fort Works Art owner & director Lauren Saba stated, "The
intensity of Tejuola's work and rich storytelling can only be understood by looking at
these works physically. They have a tactile nature that you want to touch and explore,
but instead must remain separated from, only allowed to serve as an observer and a
student of her stories. She does not shy away from difficult subject matter and where
the audience might relate to some of the themes, most of the stories her work is telling
are things many people would rather not discuss. Her ultimate end is to have the world
not forget her ancestry."
Tejuola has had an impressive museum exhibition history, including a major solo
exhibition in 2002 when the St. James Museum was reopened as The Cameron Art Museum.
She just completed her second show with the Museum in 2022 and is held in their
permanent collection, as well as other major museum collections. Her work in the
expansive Mott-Walsh Collection will be shown alongside some of the most notable
artists whose intercultural experiences have permeated their art in remarkable ways
in late 2023.
Showing her work in Fort Worth at FWA will be the first time for the artist to work
with a commercial gallery and have her works offered to the public.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Michele Tejuola Turner was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, the child of two
Southern emigres. After graduating from the renowned Cass Technical High School in
1974 and the College of Art and Design in 1978, she worked in retail advertising and
designed catalogs and other collateral for department stores. While working in Atlanta,
she became intrigued by West African culture and stories and the connections she saw to
her own story as a descendant of enslaved West Africans.
In 1993, Tejuola was one of eleven recipients to receive the prestigious Arts
International Travel Grant which gave her the opportunity to travel to Nigeria
and Ghana, Africa. While there, she was instructed by elder gourd artists, studied
Islamic techniques, and was surrounded by the Yoruba culture, all with the goal of
learning the various functions of the gourd.
Tejuola's works have been shown in context in Museum shows with artists including
Kehinde Wiley, Beauford Delaney, Omar Victor Diop, Awol Erizku, Jacob Lawrence,
Christopher Myers, Ebony G. Patterson, Howardena Pindell, Alison Saar, Yinka Shonibare,
and Mildred Thompson, among others.
ABOUT FORT WORKS ART
Fort Works Art is committed to bringing life, vitality, and energy to the art scene in Fort
Worth, TX. They are a resource for both seasoned collectors and the everyday individual. Existing
somewhere between a gallery, a cultural center, and a museum, Fort
Works Art strives to continually evolve into its own entity, free from the traditional labels
of the art world. They exist to support the arts, to give back to the community, and to inspire
Fort Works Art
2100 Montgomery Street
Fort Worth, Texas, 76107
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11 am - 5 pm;