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Item Name: Drawing
Title: Untitled
Maker: Phyllis Godwin
Year: 1967
Country: Canadian
Materials: gold ink on paper
Measurements: in frame: 44 cm x 58 cm; work: 36 cm x 47.5 cm
ID Number: ART 050
Legal Status: ART RENTAL

Extended Label Info: In her early drawings, Godwin developed her subject matter from folk narratives and often used images drawn from dance to symbolically portray women’s inner lives. She developed her approach to drawing through research into pattern, design, and folklore. Inspired by “the rich decorative heritage of her Ukrainian Polish roots…” her work has been described as “…laden with symbolism and elaborate pattern…” (Galleries West 2005). In this pen drawing she creates an asymmetrically balanced drawing of an elegant spirit figure. Two large circles, each enclosing a face in profile, are entangled in the figure’s hair. The faces suggest an anthropomorphized image of the crescent moon. The third, smaller circle is held by the spirit figure, and repeats the crescent moon motif, with two faces back-to-back in the circle. The image of the moon as a face in profile within a circle is a motif derived from observing the phases of the moon. From earth, the moon appears to change each month, waning from a full moon to a crescent. It disappears for a few days before slowly returning. Since this visual cycle is consistent, counting the phases of the moon was an early form of time keeping. In many cultures, (though not all) the moon is also associated with women and feminine principles. 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 returned to Calgary. In 2005, the family exhibited together in “SASKATCHEWAN: Three Rivers”; it was the first time Phyllis, her husband Ted, and their daughter, the artist Teddi Ruth Driediger exhibited together. Her work is held in several major public and private collections including Vancouver Art Gallery, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Sk Arts, and Beaverbrook Art Gallery.