Traditional signwriter and fairground artist
In this short film, artist, signwriter and academic Dr Amy Goodwin talks about her life and career as a fairground artist and signwriter.
Amy specialises in traditional fairground art, working on original commissions and restoration projects, predominantly for the heritage, fairground and circus industries. All her artwork is undertaken using strictly traditional methods and often involves research with historic archives and references the roots and culture of the fairground community.
The video is one of a series of films created for the National Fairground and Circus Archive exhibition Engineering Fun: The Story of Orton and Spooner.
More about Amy Goodwin
Amy was born in a fairground family and grew up travelling on steam fairs in the West Country. From a young age, she was involved in the family business, which influenced and helped her to develop her practice. Her upbringing has instilled a strong sense of cultural meaning, tradition and preservation in her work. The elaborate and visual typography, flamboyant colours and meticulous lines characteristic of traditional fairground art are essential to her painting style and are reflected in the signs she creates.
In 2020, Amy was awarded a Practice led PhD from Norwich University of the Arts for her work re-establishing identities of fairground females. Since 2016 she has combined her signwriting practice with lecturing roles at various Universities. She currently teaches on the MA Illustration course at Falmouth University and the on BA Illustration at Arts University Bournemouth and the University of Plymouth. She has previously lectured at The Royal College of Art, Camberwell College of Art, Leeds Arts University and Norwich University of the Arts.
Amy’s work has been exhibited nationally, including at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Cecil Sharp House, London Craft Week, Dalla Rosa, APT Gallery and Guest Projects Art Centre. She has spoken at conferences both nationally and internationally, and her work forms part of the collection at the Yale School of British Art.
- Film produced by the University of Sheffield Library
- Featuring artist Amy Goodwin