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Item Name: Painting
Title: Gemini and Butterfly
Maker: Phyllis Godwin
Year: 1972
Country: Canadian
Materials: ink and watercolour
Measurements: work: 39 cm x 25 cm
ID Number: ART 137
Legal Status: ART RENTAL


Extended Label Info: This ink and watercolor painting by Phyllis Godwin features imagery of two women protectively watching over a butterfly and a tree. The tree is at the centre of the composition, growing out of an egg-like shape at the bottom. The title of the drawing is “Gemini and Butterfly”. In Latin the word “gemini” means twins. Here, the idea of twins is expressed through the symmetry of the composition: the two women visually mirror each other, and the egg they are standing on is also decorated with a symmetrical pattern of butterflies. In many traditions, the egg and the butterfly symbolize rebirth or the soul. In her early drawings, Godwin developed her subject matter from folk narratives, and often used dance and physical action to symbolically portray women’s inner lives. Though her style changed over the course of her career, she continued to explore pattern and folklore, as evidenced by Galleries West magazine (2005) which described her work as being inspired by, “the rich decorative heritage of her Ukrainian Polish roots and is laden with symbolism and elaborate pattern.” Phyllis Godwin (nee Goota) (1930-) was born in Fir Ridge, Saskatchewan. She earned her teaching certification (1950) from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. After attending the Murray Point Summer School of Art at Emma Lake, Godwin moved to Calgary to study with Illingworth Kerr at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. In 1954, she graduated with a diploma. During her stay in Calgary, she met and married Ted Godwin. They moved to Regina in 1959, so he could teach at the University of Regina, in Fine Arts. Here, Phyllis Godwin worked as a layout artist for Sears Canada, in addition to maintaining her studio practice. Her work has exhibited and is collected throughout Canada. In 1985, Phyllis Godwin and her family to returned to Calgary. In 2005, Godwin exhibited in “SASKATCHEWAN: Three Rivers” with her husband and their daughter, artist Teddi Ruth Driediger, the first time the three had exhibited together.