When I got off the bus this morning at Cambridge train station I stumbled upon a steel plate set within the pavement on which was a beautiful abstract etching of a man’s face. As I kept walking towards the station I noticed more and more, each with a different portrait, intense in drawing style but sensitive in each individual expression.
I was on my way to catch a train and so couldn’t stop for long but on my return this afternoon I took my time walking back and having a closer look. For some, the faces were clear to make out but others made me stop until I had pieced together the eyes, nose and mouth. I felt excited to have discovered something that made me stop in my tracks and which distracted me from thinking about how long I would be been waiting for the bus.
After some online research I learnt that these are a series of 100 etchings by artist Dryden Goodwin; installed in October 2014. The appropriately named Wander was commissioned by the CB1 property developer Brookgate as part of their public art programme for the area. Their aim is to engage local residents, visitors and those who work nearby – as well as incorporating and adding to the cultural heritage of Cambridge. High-quality public art has become a key concept for the CB1 quarter alongside plans for large open spaces and a modern transport system.
Wander is a series of observational portraits that Goodwin made of people around the city and is a documentation of his experience and exploration of Cambridge. His works consist of drawing, photography, printmaking and film. He has also worked on other projects in public spaces and installation art. His first feature-length film along with drawings and artefacts, Unseen: The Lives of Looking, is currently exhibiting at the Queens House, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.
Have you made an artistic discovery in Cambridge? Let us know by tweeting: @thetrove_cambs
By Stephanie Freeman