Sunday, 30 November 2014 19:40

Sonelle Goddard

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Interview with Sonelle Goddard

OA: What is your favourite film of all time?

Sonelle: ‘Big Fish’, it’s about a son who learns more about his dying father by reliving the extravagant stories and myths he told about his life.

OA: What music are you currently listening to and why?

Sonelle: Glass Animals, Radiohead, Jill Scott, Lala Njava, Sohn and Nina Simone amongst others. Music relaxes me and it creates an atmosphere I enjoy to work in, it awakens my creative energy and it helps me to focus.

OA: Which living artists do you most admire and why?

Sonelle: I admire the interactive designers, rAndom International; I love their methods to explore human behaviour, reaction and intuition to natural experiences. I went to their installation Rain Room at the Barbican (London) in 2013, where the installation allowed visitors to be in the rain without getting wet, it was an unforgettable interactive experience.

Then, I’m intrigued by Yayoi Kusama’s work and love her ability to render pattern into entrancing forms using a wide set of media, including environmental installations, sculpture, performance art, painting and collage.

OA: Which deceased artist do you most admire and why?

Sonelle: Rothko, I mostly admire works from his later period when he created the ‘multiform’ paintings, his signature style. Rothko wanted viewers to experience a sense of intimacy, awe, transcendence and a sense of the unknown when viewing his large-scale paintings, and personally I feel that you definitely experience at least one or all of the above when in company of his work. I especially enjoy the noiselessness, the power and the sense of the unknown he managed to achieve in his work.

OA: Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

Sonelle: It was Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition at the Tate Modern, London, 2012. I left the exhibition inspired, motivated and excited. I got ‘lost’ in the Infinity Mirrored Room and tried to stay as long as possible, however I also enjoyed seeing the development from her earlier works through to the most recent, I especially enjoyed some of her earlier watercolours.

OA: What is the question you get asked most frequently about your work and how do you answer it?

Sonelle: Do I plan my paintings before I start?
I don’t plan my paintings, and mainly work intuitively. I do though start with a general concept, which will determine the medium, and the selection of colours. After applying the medium that could be a mixture of acrylic, watercolours or gouache; I will further develop the concept and the work of art.

OA: What / who inspired you to be an artist?

Sonelle: As a child, I went everywhere with my colour pencils, crayons and a drawing book, I even went out farming with my dad and to dance classes with my mom accompanied by my pencils and drawing book. It was however my older sister who encouraged me to start a career in visual art.

OA: Can you tell us about where you make your art and what if any the significance of this location is?

Sonelle: My studio is at home, I prefer this because I love the freedom of time it provides – I can be in the studio whether it is 3am in the morning or 7 at night and I don’t have to be concerned about transport, dinner, coffee, bathrooms etc. More so, when I suddenly experience a surge of inspiration I can act upon it be in immediately, which I absolutely love. I do however aspire to expand on the size of the studio – a studio that is big enough to have a separate space for each of the following: Carving, Installation art (big scale), painting, drawing, an office, storage and a gallery to showcase the art. They do say ‘dream big’ right.

OA: What do you like most about being an artist?

Sonelle: The creative process and the fact that you will never stop to discover, observe, explore and experiment.

OA: What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

Sonelle: This was when I sold 18 artworks (paintings and drawings) at the opening event of my solo exhibition at Inna Contemporary Space in Hangzhou, China.

OA: What are your plans for the coming year?

Sonelle: I have a solo exhibition coming up at Bon Matin in London, which will run from December 6th until the 17th of January 2015. I have been selected as the Curator for Sotheby’s Staff Exhibition that will take place in the summer. I’m also in the process of discussing and finalising a collaborative project to create an artwork(s) that will focus on energy consumption.


Artist Biography

Sonelle Goddard is a Contemporary Abstract Artist in London. Her artistic career began while growing up on a remote farm in South Africa where she drew inspiration from nature and dreams. Now, she explores organic matter and dream states through abstract painting, drawing and installation.

Sonelle studied fine art at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and received a Degree in History of Art and Sculpture. She also went ahead and received a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Arts & Culture and English from the University of South Africa. After completing her studies, she decided to explore the world through art, and travelled the US, UK, Asia and Africa while participating in solo- and group exhibitions and competitions.

Her paintings are in various permanent collections: Galleria Datrino, Commune di Torre Canavese, Italy and Inna Contemporary Art Space, Hangzhou, China and Glorious Backstage Arts, London among others. Her work is also in many private residences across South Africa, the US, China and the UK.

Sonelle is the recipient of various awards amongst which she is a winner to South African Journeys at BBC Lonely Planet, a showcase winner at Artslant and is the recipient for special recognition at Light, Space & Time Gallery.

Links to artist portfolio:

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