Molly Godet Wins $10,000 Charman Prize

October 13, 2012

[Updated with video] Sponsor and Patron of the Charman Prize Mr John Charman announced Molly Godet as this year’s $10,000 Charman Prize Winner at the opening reception last night [Oct 12] at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art.

Mr Charman said: “My philanthropic pursuit is driven by a desire to build a platform for our community’s artistic expression. In our fifth year of the Charman Prize, we can see Bermuda’s soul mirrored in Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art”.

Competing with 78 entrants, Ms Godet’s entry, a watercolour piece entitled “Green Man Gombey” depicts a palm tree that Molly Godet interprets as a gombey.

The piece was chosen for being an outstanding example of the competition’s four judging criteria; Design and Composition – fine use of the principles and elements of design and composition; Use of Material —technical mastery and skill in a chosen medium; Distinctive and Convincing Style—a highly developed quality of creativity and originality; and Source of Inspiration—a clear intent and vision.

The 2012 judges were Betty Krulik, appraiser and private dealer in 19th and early 20th century American art, John Slavin, a professional conservator, and Doina Popescu, Director of the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto Ontario.

The judges released a statement on the piece: “This work is a mature confident watercolour; the artist has complete mastery of the difficult medium, deftly applied, with confidence and maturity. It is a Tour de Force, of watercolour technique, with a simple grace and beauty. The watercolour is beautifully placed on the page with graceful composition yet a dynamic energy.

“It seems effortless, but it is beautifully balanced. We were taken by the mysterious element, a fusion of ritualistic and organic. Ms Godet realized the mystery of the island, with subtlety. We loved the balance between the literal and the anthropomorphic, the gombey being unique to Bermuda. The dignity of the presentation engages the viewer, it is elegantly matted and framed.”

Creative Director and Founder Tom Butterfield had this to say: “The winner this year is proof that when form and content meet colour and composition, a clear and distinct message is made. We continue to be amazed at overall quality and talent found on these islands. We thank John Charman for drawing that talent out. Masterworks museum is once again proud to host this most prestigious prize.”

The artistic statement submitted by Molly Godet along with the “Green Man Gombey” was: “When I paint Bermuda, I like my work to look rather traditional and yet hold just a little something weird. Probably because that is the Bermuda I grew up with and know: a lot stranger than it first appears. This unique artwork exemplifies the beauty surrounding us in Bermuda, the muse of the island is to no end, and through the Charman Prize everyone can have a voice. It is building a community, and in doing so giving voice to so many people.”

Four prizes of $2,500 were also awarded for artworks that were outstanding examples of each of the four criteria:

Prize for Design and composition

  • Gavin Djata Smith - “Feel the Love”

Prize for Materials

  • Teresa Kirby Smith - “Night sky”

Prize for Style

  • Alan C. Smith - “Sea w/inx5”

Prize for Inspiration

  • Libby Cook Toppan - “The Keep- dockyard”

12 honourable-mention prizes of $100 were also awarded to the artists that embodied strong elements of each of the four criteria:

  • Distinctive and Convincing Style – Zoe Dyson, Llewellyn Emery, Graham Foster
  • Use of Material – Nancy Frith, Kelly Hunt, Stephen West
  • Design and Composition – Dwayne Caines, Vaughn Evans, Janet Percy
  • Source of Inspiration – Jacqueline Alma, Peri Nolan-Trott, Nancy Hutchings Valentine

The Charman Prize is a community art prize competition at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, which exhibits artwork inspired by Bermuda and honours and supports Bermuda artists in the creation of their artwork. By celebrating a wide array of artwork from Bermuda’s artistic community, the Charman Prize encourages visual artists of all abilities, working in all techniques and mediums to exhibit and share their works as members of the community. The Charman Prize aspires to support and inspire the artists towards excellence in their medium and to further artistic accomplishments.

The Charman Prize will open on Friday, October 12, from 5:30 – 8:30pm. The awards ceremony will begin at 6:30pm. This is open to the general public. The show will be displayed in the Butterfield Family Gallery until January 3rd. The museum is open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm, Sunday 11am – 4:30pm. Admission $5, free for members and children under 12.


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