It was chilly cold afternoon in winter New York, when I met Ms Clare Goddard, and her works.
At first I was so impressed by the style of herself; dressed with simple antique lace suits, spoke like whispering in quiet voice, by beautiful accents.
But off course not only herself was I captivated, but for her works.She took materials from antique papers or fabrics and many other various objects, and mixed them to put together to create them to reproduce new ‘tableau’.
As well I sympathized her way of working. In my personal feeling, she seems to be an prolific artist, catching her images arose from her spirit in sensitive way. Then she treats her works rather in relaxed mood, that reminds me of our 'zakka' culture, which is very crutial in Japanese modern lifestyle.
'zakka' is a particular Japanese word, originally meaning things needed for daily life, such as soaps, towels, candles, plates or any other various objects.
But in our age, 'zakka' is apparently more than that.
These days, when we say 'zakka', it often means daily object in high quality designs.
We can live without those objects actually, but we enjoy them in our daily life ,as something special which can make our daily life slightly extraordinal.
That kind of function, was the essential of art works before, I think. However these days, we reflect same roll toward those objects called 'zakka'.
So 'zakka' exsists at interval of arts and daily object.
They are utensils, but also inspirative like an art, while in front of zakka, we can be more relaxed than confronting art works, I think that is because 'zakka' exists on more closer points to our daily life, rather than art, which is more extraordinal, spiritual existense.
Ms Goddard’s works are definitely the art works, off course not daily object, even if she creats paper spoons.
But I feel same kind of relaxed mood in her art works, which can give us the happiness of creation. When she pick up some old fabric pieces or documents and put them and their ‘past memories ’ together like sewing or patching, or when she chooses kitchen tools as her theme of manipulation, those art works could be closer to our daily life, and in my feeling, they could exist in between our daily life and extraordinal moment, like a way of 'zakka' does.
She made some new collage pieces using our scrap fabrics. Looking at those pieces, I was given some inspirations to rush onto my working table to make something new. Also I like her idea of making pieces together so much, which can be a good hint for real sewing of dresses, bags and so.
Her paper spoons and kitchen utesils are also very nice to be displayed in our rooms.
I hope you could enjoy this small but lovely exhivision , for your own inspiration.
(Artist, Designer & Directer of LINNET)
Clare Goddard, an English designer - artist graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in1994. Since then she has exhibited internationally, selling her work throughout Europe, Japan and the USA.
Her work is concerned with the manipulation of natural and found materials. These are often displaced from their conventional role to create a new role. The contradiction between accustomed recognition places the viewers knowledge in jeopardy as the unconscious offers interpretations for objects seen. Readjustment of sensibilities is called for to recognize what is seen, what we think we know, but which we may not know at all.
At present she is working with the theme of utensils. By manipulating and combining materials such as self made tar, (made in the forests of Finland ), self made charcoal, thread, paper, wood and fibre, new forms are created. The viewer often becomes concerned with what the objects are, their function, origin and what purpose they serve.
Clare also produces collages constructed from a variety of papers and fabrics, from vintage swatches and packaging to old documents found in flea markets. Many are donated by friends or people Clare has met, from places as diverse as Buenos Aires and Beijing, St Petersburg and San Francisco. Others are found on inspirational travels, whether it is to the other side of the world or to the local charity store in Helsinki where she is now based.
Every paper and fabric has a past life which is reflected in its condition. It is this past life, often unknown, which is interesting and is reflected in tears, stains and imperfections. These memories are collaged and reconsidered into contemporary artifacts. The pieces leave open the story as they are manipulated and stitched together, but suggest a new one as images are juxtaposed and one paper finds itself next to another.