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David Godbold Exhibition and Workshop – Butler Gallery


David Godbold
The end of the beginning of the beginning of the end.

Well I fucked this up a bit alright. I was meant to review this last weekend when you, the reader, could actually still see the David Godbold exhibit in the Butler Gallery in the castle. But alas, between travel, college and work I get nare a moment to write for punchthesphinx.com nowadays. Even more reason to become an author like Eleanor and take the weight off my back. Good woman yourself Eleanor.
Nehow, David Godbold. Some man for one man it could be said. Dave dabbles in the auld art. Dabbles enough to get himself an exhibit where he can draw on castle walls anyways. His work falls into two categories. Firstly lovely landscape paintings that resemble woodcuts from the days of old (see below). They’ve usually got great big hills and mountains that create nice big curves on the page, not too far apart from Japanese woodcuts, The great wave in particular. He has a great control of the minimal colours he uses and they never seem dull. Haunting in fact sometimes. These landscapes are but a small part of what he does. His other work, some people don’t even call it art! Poor David, that’d wreak his tits.


David’s non-landscape work consists of everyday scraps of paper people have discarded behind a veil of tracing paper which he recreates 16th century religious illustrations on. He also adds a caption to each piece. Usually changing the context of said religious image and making the whole thing funneh. Or not funny and an interesting piece of social commentary.

DG10702Clicky to make biggy

Tbh, I like David’s work. I love the idea of using a scrap of paper that you found as your background. It means anyone could see their rubbish on a museum wall some day as art, and probably get suing David right away. I never found a deeper level to the pieces he choose for the backgrounds though, they never seem to gel together with the foreground ink image he bonds it with. Perhaps I can’t see the link between them, the meaning probably flew over my head like an F 16 Jet. If they do have a relevance to the overall piece then that’s another prop I would have to give to David. They wouldn’t be mad props though. Just props.


David’s religious imagery work has caused people offence though. It’s easy to see why. With Jesus exclaiming “FUCK FUCK FUCK” while nailed to the cross a few people mightn’t like their saviour saying such yokes. But I think David nicely brings to the forefront the impact that certain imagery can have when paired with profanities. Mixing the “sacred” and holy images with everyday vulgarities just shows us the simple change of context that dictates how we view the pieces. Jesus after getting 7 shades of shite beaten out of him on the cross is up in many homes across Ireland as a crucifix, yet most people wouldn’t let the kids watch a movie with graphic violence in it. Strange the way we view the world. David just calls it as it is for us.


I attended a youth workshop on the day I saw the exhibition as well. It was well good. Run by butler gallery themselves for the youth. Fair play. It was a fun workshop and supare interesting. We created images in the same vein as David Godbold under certain themes such as heroism and family. I also discovered my new love for working with Ink. Tis mighty slick stuff. Overall a good day and I’d recommend the workshops, which I hope they continue to run, to anyone interested in art. I know it can be hard to get off yer arse and do something other than fuck about on a Saturday, but fucking about with art is way more rewarding.


The Butler Gallery is open at these times, check out the shit in there. It’s fair cool. And open everyday!

May – September, 10am – 5.30pm
October – February, 10am – 1pm; 2pm – 4.30pm
March: 10am – 1pm, 2pm – 5pm
April – 10am – 1pm, 2pm – 5.30pm

Butler Gallery
, The Castle, Kilkenny, Ireland
t + 353 56 7761106 f +353 56 7770031
e: info@butlergallery.com

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Written By: James
Hi, I'm James. Creator of PunchTheSphinx. I've just finished my first year in Visual Communications in IADT Dun Laoghaire. Now I'm back in Kilkenny for the summer and running PunchTheSphinx again! :D Outside PTS, I play the guitar and listen to mostly metalcore and pop. I design web sites for a living outside college, including this one.

23 Responses to David Godbold Exhibition and Workshop – Butler Gallery

  1. Eleanor says:

    Aw! Thanks! I wish I could write more though… and learn how to sort out photos…

  2. graham says:

    I dont think the scraps are supposed to tie in with the ink drawings! All the religious images are from the counter reformation wich is HUGELY important and he ties the together with scraps and drawings of complete uninportance therefore either further dressing them down as he does with the captions or showing just how “important” religion is to him!

    he’s fair class!! the pic of jusus sayin fuck fuck fuck is in fact val kilmer ! the doood who played jim morrison in the movie the doors!!

  3. Eleanor says:

    I like his style. We all hear of people writing songs on napkins in restaurants, but this takes it up a notch! Good man yourself, Mr Godbold!

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