Thomas Goddard – Crow Jane Blues

Exhibition – Saturday 02 July 2016 – Friday 29 July 2016
Opening Hours: 12-5pm daily, closed Mondays

Preview and performance
Friday 8 July, 6-9pm

‘Crow Jane Blues’ presents Thomas Goddard’s continuing research into the use of manipulation by those in positions of power. Gender, political and media power play are represented through the prophetic figure of the crow and Skip James’ haunting 1967 version of ‘Crow Jane’.

Similar to the flexing of political standpoints, the crow can been seen as a creature with evolving, contrasting connotations and traits – from divine beings and intelligent protectors of the down trodden presented in Celtic myth and folklore, to becoming servants of the devil, and representations of death. The crow, as a key figure of the work, represents not only a powerful political figure, but also the shifting definitions, approaches to and understanding of neo-liberalism.

Sitting amongst these mixed understandings, Crow Jane, a traditional blues standard, also uses “Crow” (as early as 1820) as a derogatory term for a woman of low character – perhaps even the lowest of the low. “Crow Jane” by Skip James is a song about the murder, and subsequent regret by the murderer, of a prostitute.

Using these multiple connotations as spring boards, the work will prompt questions of personal control – that we are the absolute owner of our lives, to use and dispose of as we see fit: that all our social actions should be voluntary: and that respect for everyone’s similar and equal ownership of life and, by extension, the property and fruits of that life is the ethical basis of a humane and open society.

Presented through new installation, text, imagery and performance, this prophetic figure pertains to our own governments approach to hierarchy, power, wealth imbalance and haunting control.


Thomas Goddard is a multi disciplinary artist, who uses primarily film, performance and installation to his location led research and participatory practice, he explores alternative ways of seeing or engaging with the world; be that real or imagined.

In 2015 Goddard received a Creative Wales award and represented Wales at Standpoint Futures, London. Significant projects include Bulletin, a film trilogy commissioned by Outcasting, The Space and ACE as part of a residency at BBC Wales; a Cadw & ACW supported residency at Neolithic site, Parc Le Breos and a series of new performance work in China supported by Wales Arts International. During summer 2016, Goddard’s film piece ‘Chew chew’ will be presented as part of Selected #6, a touring exhibition featuring works nominated by the 2015 Film London Jarman Award shortlisted artists, produced by FLAMIN and videoclub.