Amy Goodwin

2016 QEST Scholar - Traditional Sign Painting

Growing up spending summers travelling with a steam fairground has heavily influenced Amy’s practice as a traditional signwriter and fairground artist. Subsequently, the traditions and heritage of the fairground are reflected in both the commissions she undertakes and her own practice.

All Amy’s signwriting work is undertaken using traditional methods: by hand, using no tape nor digital assistance. Projects completed include restoration and paintwork commissions in the heritage, fairground and circus industries – including steam engines, living wagons and fairground rides – alongside the design and production of one-off, bespoke signs.

Amy became a QEST Scholar in 2016 when she received funding in support of her practice-led PhD. This PhD re-establishes the identities of fairground females through the construction of an archive as illustrated space: holding traditional signs which tell stories of the females. Her PhD enquiry is informed by both her fairground upbringing and experience working as a traditional signwriter.

My decision to become a fairground signwriter was confirmed following my first ‘official’ season working on the fairground (at 13). Working on a ‘cork shooter’ side stall, gluing matchboxes to a shelf so the public couldn’t knock them off and win, I realised I’d much rather be holding a paintbrush!