Ian Godfrey's poetically made and inimitable pots expressed not only his love for ancient civilisations and their art, from South America to the Mediterranean, but his celebration of a very personal imaginative landscape, full of enchantment. It was a vision fed by a serious and scholarly reading of early cultures and by wide travel (Godfrey was also a practising archeologist).
Based In London, Godfrey (I942-1992) trained at Camberwell in the late 50s, where he was already using a penknife to carve leather-hard clay. There followed engaging groups of bowls, boxes, dishes and other objects, richly fenestrated with creatures and buildings, miniature populated landscapes that expressed a unique insight. There was a gentle ritualism about Godfrey’s art, but one full of humour and humanity. His approach was well away from mainstream ceramics, or Modernist debates in sculpture, Godfrey preferring to simply play with his materials, whether he was using clay, wood, metal or watercolour. Although he became more technically assured over the years, it is the softness and intuition of the earlier pieces that is particularly represented in the Anthony Shaw Collection.