I was born in Shetland in 1955 and studied drawing, painting and printmaking at Edinburgh College of Art. I worked in the Northern Isles for several years teaching, painting and exhibiting and then moved back to Edinburgh to work as curator of the Scottish Crafts Collection, now part of the collection of The National Museum of Scotland.
In 1985 I established Godfrey & Watt in Yorkshire, a gallery exhibiting and promoting some of the finest work by artists and makers from throughout the UK. After twenty-five years I have closed the original gallery in Westminster Arcade in Harrogate, but Godfrey & Watt lives on. I continue to represent and exhibit work by a small group of artists and makers through the Godfrey & Watt on-line gallery and the occasional exhibition.
My own work has frequently been exhibited at Godfrey & Watt and in exhibitions elsewhere around the UK. Sailing trips, the Northern Isles and marine folk art provide much inspiration for the work.
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About my work
Most of the work I have done over the past ten years or so has been in the form of box constructions made mainly from wood; carved and painted, sometimes using found materials. Perhaps in common with other artists making 'boxworks', Joseph Cornell is an unavoidable influence as is that lovely period of Picasso's work when he seemed to find everything he needed lying around on the studio floor, but another strand of interest for me lies in ship dioramas and other marine folk art. The slatted birds started with the idea of an upturned boat, which is a motif I have often used in other ways, they also draw on the tradition of decoy making. Folk, naïve and primitive art; the kind of objects made for use and ornament, often by unnamed makers, is probably the main source of ideas for the work.