Molly Godet's winning watercolour Green Man Gombey. *Image supplied
Molly Godet's winning watercolour Green Man Gombey. *Image supplied

FRIDAY, OCT. 12: Molly Godet has been named the overall winner of the 2012 Charman Prize for her watercolour painting titled Green Man Gombey.

Ms Godet was announced the recipient of the $10k grand prize this evening at the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art at the opening reception.

Competing with 78 entrants, Ms Godet’s entry depicts a palm tree that interprets as a Gombey.

The piece was chosen for being an outstanding example of the competition’s four judging criteria: Design and Composition; Use of Material; Distinctive and Convincing Style; and Source of Inspiration.

The artistic statement submitted by Molly Godet along with Green Man Gombey read: “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.”

Four prizes were also awarded for artworks that were outstanding examples of each of the four criteria. Prize for Design and Composition went to Gavin Djata Smith for his piece Feel The Love; Prize for Materials went to Teresa Kirby Smith for Night Sky; Prize for Style went to Alan C. Smith for Sea w/inx5”; and Prize for Inspiration was awarded to Libby Cook Toppan for The Keep — Dockyard.

There were 12 honourable-mention prizes of $100 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 2012judges 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 said of the overall winner’s work: “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.”

Masterworks director and founder Tom Butterfield added: “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 annual Charman Prize is made possible by the generous sponsorship of businessman and art collector John Charman.

The show will be displayed in the Butterfield Family Gallery until January 3. The museum is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm, Sunday 11am to 4:30pm. Admission $5, free for members and children under 12.