Obituary: Ian Godfrey

No doubt like others who visited Ian Godfrey in his studio (actually a small lock-up garage in Highgate), I was often struck by the contrast between the simplicity and modesty of his workplace and the wondrous and sometimes haunting pieces he created with such apparent effortlessness as we chatted, writes Barbara Fireman (further to the obituary by Emmanuel Cooper, 28 August).

Along the dusty shelves one's eye picked out a deer's head, then saw that the back of the small beast supported, and was an integral part of, the base of a narrow vase, that the feet had become strange padded supports. Intricate carvings covered the inside, outside and even the hidden base of a small bowl. But the personality that created these often complex and allusive pieces had its childlike and sometimes impish aspect, delighting in recounting somewhat hair-raising escapades with a degree of relish.

In his latter years Ian Godfrey had become disillusioned with the commercial art world, and perhaps because he was never concerned about making much money out of his art, he preferred on the whole to sell directly to private individuals whom he felt showed a particular appreciation of his work. They are fortunate to have permanent memorials of him.

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