Lives and works in Richmond, Virginia
From Yonder Wooded Hill explores my familial background as the product of a long line of millworkers from West Virginia, North Carolina, and mainly the Patapsco River Valley of Maryland, where I was raised. Entrenched in my family’s working class background is the human condition to assert reason for the unexplainable. I accepted the folkloric beliefs I was raised on as normalities, but learned were unique to a working class, Appalachian culture. Thus, the series grapples with what we choose to remember versus what chooses to remember us, with history as a rippling entity, eager to bob to the surface when we choose to pay attention.
Riley Goodman inquires folklore, American history, and humankind's relationship with the environments they inhabit in an effort to understand what endures, and subsequently how this endurance exists in relation to his own presence in the canon. Goodman juxtaposes archival imagery and material from his personal collections of artifact and ephemera with the visual interpretation of researched, often folk-based, storytelling. When these elements combine, the resulting work forms a narrative that rather than noting a specific period, creates an ever-occurring amalgamation of time. By establishing this crafted world, Goodman forces the viewer to question the tenants of authenticity, leaving the idea of 'historical truth' in an undisclosed middle ground.