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Australian art

Contemporary art

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Prosthetic Re-Thought



Richard Goodwin


1953 -


Richard Goodwin's cross-disciplinary practice considers the role of art in public spaces; consequently he works at the intersection between art and architecture. He has nominated terms to describe the three "zones" in which his work is located: "Between body and architecture - prosthetics/exoskeleton; Between architecture and public art - parasite; Between urban infrastructure and public space - porosity". (1) 'Prosthetic Re-thought' resides in the first sphere. The work comprises of objects which already have a close relationship to the body: a rowing skull, Formula 1 racing car body, motorbike sidecar and wind surfer wishbone. These elements are united by a central structure upon which they pivot. Goodwin describes the sculpture as forming the "architecture of a relationship between two bodies". (2) He played out this idea in a series of performances which used 'Prosthetic Re-thought' at Christine Abrahams Gallery in Melbourne and Boutwell Draper Gallery in Sydney. The cloth sailing harness also references the body because the shape traces the absent human form. The mathematical formulae inscribed on the rowing skull once again attend to human interaction. They are drawn from a book entitled 'Mathematical Aspects of Hodgkin-Huxley Neural Theory', which describes the nerve conduction theories of Hogdkin and Huxley, and the responses of the brain to human interactions. From the skull to the sidecar and wishbone, 'Prosthetic Re-thought' is comprised of machines which humans have created to move through air, in water and on land. The mathematical formulae therefore allude to the complex relationship between the body and the machine and their neural relationship.

1. from the Artist's statement. See
2. from Artist's statement, April 2006




Media category


Materials used

stainless steel, steel, timber, cloth


200.0 x 200.0 x 800.0 cm


Gift of the artist 2007


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Richard Goodwin

Works in the collection