John Roch Simons works primarily with portraiture and is research driven.

In Intention, Place and Legacy, he responds to a gap in history, exploring an almost forgotten good ancestor through archival and immersive field research, documentation, and interviews. Kathleen Goodfellow (1891-1980) was a philanthropic patron of the arts.

Little is known of her legacy. She secured a valuable archive by secretly financing The Dublin Magazine (1926-1958), a significant artist forum, and gifted a bird sanctuary, The Grove in Donnybrook, to An Taisce. She was generous with her affluence, modest and private about her philanthropy, and avoided attention. Beyond Estella Solomons’ portraits of Kathleen Goodfellow (held in the collections of the National Gallery of Ireland and The Model Sligo), no photograph of her exists in the public realm. Her own photographic collection was destroyed after her death, possibly at her request.

This project is conceived as a portrait of her legacy. Beyond her name on the pillar of The Grove, her legacy is an overlooked secret. This project draws from histories of art, culture and literature to explore personal relationships with place, and emphasise the deep connections between public, private and non-human worlds.

Intention, Place and Legacy is the first articulation of three on Kathleen Goodfellow.

John completed a Masters in Art Research and Collaboration in 2022 at Dunlaoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) with a First Class Honour and he is Long Listed for The RDS Visual Art Awards.

Still from Intention, Place and Legacy 2021
HD 1080 x 1920 Video Installation
7 minutes 46 seconds

© John Roch Simons 2021

Veins - The heart of The Grove 2021
Archival photographic print
Edition of 7 & 3 APs
540 mm x 300 mm

© John Roch Simons 2021

Artist John Roch Simons

© John Roch Simons 2022

Photograph documenting Wax rhapsodic
exhibition in the LAB Gallery Foley Street
January 2022

© John Roch Simons 2022