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Cardiff Character: Heloise Godfrey-Talbot

Heloise Godfrey-Talbot is in love. The subjects of her affection? The process of making art and a musician named Rowan.

Sorry about the light in here” says Heloise Godfrey-Talbot as she prepares herself a drink in what is possibly the world’s biggest mug, “the bulb went the other day and we’ve not had chance to replace it.” It would be possible to take a dim view of the situation, but the low lighting serves to create beautiful, ambient shadows across a kitchen-cum-lounge which has ‘I am an artist’ stitched into its sumptuous, yet simultaneously spartan fabric.

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An excellent palette: Godfrey-Talbot creating artwork in her atmospheric kitchen

Born in Winchester but raised in Cardiff from an early age, Godfrey-Talbot, 35, is a visual artist whose pieces focus on communication and conversation. Works include Joy Orchestra – a look at the more sensory ways we can communicate with the world – and Getting to Know You – an exploration of the private and personal life of objects and the ways in which we interact with them.

Peculiar Perspective

It’s an oeuvre full of peculiar perspectives.  “It’s about exploring the overlooked” she explains, “I like to take a sideways glance at things; to look at the activity that happens alongside something that maybe doesn’t get noticed.”

Indeed, Godfrey-Talbot takes many of her influences from the moments when people think others aren’t looking. “I’m quite nosey and I like people, so I’m always listening and researching. It’s like looking in the back of the sofa”, she muses, “You might find something really great or you might get some weird stuff under your fingers.”

Graduating from Leeds University with a degree in English Language and Literature, it was whilst travelling in Australia that the artist in Godfrey-Talbot stirred from its slumber. She fell in love with the process of creating art on a foundation course, before time in India, creating memorials to the victims of the tsunami (in 2004), laid the cornerstone for her artistic direction.

Artistic Adoration

Art has gone on to play a central role in Godfrey-Talbot’s life, but that’s not to say that her musician husband, Rowan, plays second fiddle – in actuality he plays the tremendous double bass that stands sentinel over the atmospherically lit room.

“I’m married to a very lovely man”, Godfrey-Talbot beams. “We got married last year in a field in Sussex”, she declares, “We had a music festival. I did all the art and decoration and Rowan played in the wedding band.” Leaning her head on her hand, she smiles and states that her marriage is her greatest achievement.

Places of Interest: Click a pin in the map to discover information about some of the important places in Godfrey-Talbot’s life.

Things haven’t always been so rosy though. Returning from India with a mystery illness, Godfrey-Talbot was plagued by fainting episodes. When something like normality resumed six months later, she went out with a friend to celebrate only to be hit by a car just outside her house. Broken bones and resultant post-traumatic stress disorder saw her out of commission for a further two years.

Godfrey-Talbot’s has been a winding and at points troubled journey, but it seems that in scrabbling about in the dark parts of that metaphorical sofa, she has found the greatest thing of all: love.


Main photo by Tom Carter. Side photo by Heloise Godfrey-Talbot.

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