Artist of the Week – Juliette Godfrey
Well-loved member of our Seals community and permanent resident for over two decades, is abstract artist and photographer, Juliette Godfrey.
Her unique ability of finding the ‘spirit’ in the inanimate aspects of nature through her lens, has led to a series of experimental processes with the brush, and some ultimately breath-taking outcomes.
“But it is never about the outcome” says Godfrey. “Art is about process and play, and this is why I don’t do commissions. What my buyers buy is an experience that cannot be repeated if you are in creative flow”.
Her oil on cretestone series is food for the creative mind or meditative soul and can keep me captivated for hours. I find a whale plunging into the depths of a kelp forest or the spirits of the trees moving through the mountain forest at daybreak. Of course this is the beauty of abstract art. What it is for the artist is different to what is seen by each member of it’s audience. Like the flow of the ocean, it is always new.
In some Jungian way Juliette Godfrey’s art is the outpouring of the unconscious onto the canvas, with archetypal symbolism coming through organically in the play – uncontrived and authentically beautiful. “Spirit calls, and I go” she tells me. And I believe her. I can feel it in her work. Her exhibitions include her buchu series at the Youngbloods & Arteye in Cape Town.
Buchu is farmed and distilled into oil on the farms where she lived and raised her son for many years, and the resin which is her medium, holds powerful healing and transformative qualities. This series was an honouring of the life, the love and the loss experienced in those years in the aptly named exhibition “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. Inspired by the rocks around her ever-burning fireplace, she produced pieces with names like ‘From the mud, to the blood, to the gold’ echoing the life-death-life cycle and universal story of the human spirit. The fireplace is both literally and symbolically the place of gathering, of storytelling, of mourning, of healing.
Her large acrylic abstracts on canvasses as big as 3m x 2.8m are a burst of colour and movement, a joyful dance through the cosmos, and show that this artist is able to go as high as she goes deep in her creative expression.
Her latest works, 70cm x 90cm oil on board are again inspired mostly by her photography, ranging from portraits taken in India, to abstract Turner-esque landscapes in shades of sepia and deep earthy hues.
Her abstract photographic work can be printed onto canvas or aluminium and makes engaging conversation- piece art for the contemporary home, or small original gifts at reasonable prices. Inspired by thousands of hours of walking on the Wildside or to Shark’s Point, she feels she has explored every rock, puddle and pool of the area. “And this is why I need to travel” she says “to fill up the creative well”.
After years of traveling as a surf Mom with her son Nicholas, Juliette lives with her dog Ricky. Alongside showing up at the canvas, daily walks and yoga, she is constantly busy with her other great passion, the renovation of homes and gardens.
She has sold works locally and has had buyers as far and wide as Mauritius and New York City.
All works printed here are available and to see more of Juliette Godfrey’s work, the artist can be contacted directly on +27 83 656 4319 or at Juliette699@gmail.com.
Article by by Jacqueline Jorgensen
For previous Artists of the week be sure to visit Art in St Francis