Anji Goddard creates an essence of the sublime in her painted subjects. They exist to tell a story that is in peril of being forgotten. Through her artwork she looks to offer a voice to those who may be unseen, forgotten or in danger of obsolescence.
Goddard found her way back to painting after having initially trained as a puppeteer and a carpenter. Being diagnosed with epilepsy put many constraints on her life, but one thing it did open up and allow her to do was reclaim her love of painting. In this way she has been able to carry on with her artistic endeavors despite obstacles her illness has created.
“I had always loved art and used to love drawing portraits but it was only after I became ill, five years ago, that I started to explore painting seriously. From the isolation of illness I started to paint portraits again. I was interested particularly in the eyes as they are the windows to the soul and I started to think about the people and animals around the world whose voices are not being heard. I wanted to somehow give them a voice and so I primarily paint endangered species and indigenous peoples. I paint them at night time as this is the time when society sleeps and if you listen you can hear and connect with the universe.”
These paintings are beautiful portraits that give the viewer a sense of peace and serenity. They exude the affection the artist has towards her subjects, and the empathy she has towards the natural world. Goddard reflects upon this beauty and asks the viewer to do the same. Her subjects are elevated above the world of realism with a touch of the magical. Using the moon and star light, the night skies capture a quietness and stillness that the subjects of the paintings seem to emanate, through the surface of the canvas, out onto the viewer.