Emily Goodrum: Ascend

Light installation

‘Ascend’ uses light to explore the concept of overwhelming simplicity — the moment in meditation where stillness seems to exist, and quickly it is gone, back to the racing thoughts and material concerns of the world. However, even a momentary break from the mundane may allow us to glimpse the depths of existence. Although the current may be confined to its material conduit, light is able to escape the material surface and transpose the atmosphere, touching all in its presence. Light is the greatest metaphor for transcendence.

Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe

Section within the
Dallas Arts District

Emily Goodrum is a student of the human constructed environment. Her current body of work is a culmination of years of thought, insight, and study of the lived environment, as well as an extended metaphor for the search for truth and meaning in life.


Goodrum’s graduate work at The University of Texas at Austin centers on the intersections between quality of life, the lived environment, and specifically, the impact of creativity in society. She has been looking for ways to improve the human experience, and she believes that creativity is key.

Goodrum sees that our macro culture has become embedded in a material routine. This is not a new phenomenon. Culture has always demanded conformity although creativity has challenged the current ways of being. There is a strong human need for stability and order, yet, this demand can smother the creative impulse within. Balance is desirable, yet, there is a constant struggle and a tendency toward duality in the face of a reality that is highly complex. In the midst of a complexity that defies human understanding, there may be moments of absolute simplicity that illuminate a hidden side of reality. These are the challenges and processes that her work explores and seeks to define.

Photo above: Copyright Casey Reid. Photo below: Copyright Josh Blaylock

A biennial public art event of light, video and sound.

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