1916 – 1991
Godwin was born in Worksop in 1916. He studied at the Royal College of Art. He taught at Bromley School of Art, Hammersmith School of Art and at Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, where he became Head of Sculpture. Godwin exhibited work at the Royal Academy in the 1950s. He made Neptune, a huge temporary sculptural relief, for the Sea and Ships Pavilion on the Southbank site in the Festival of Britain, 1951. His public commissions include The Architect and Society at Blackheath, Guy and the Boar at Warwick and a fountain for the Anglia TV building at Elstree. Godwin’s public sculpture in Manchester includes Vigilance and Spinning Fields Piece, a 20ft high stainless steel and concrete form which stands near the Rylands Library. The Keith Godwin Award for Sculpture is presented annually at Manchester Academy of Fine Arts. Godwin died in 1991.
Fibreglass, 163 x 76 x 68 cm
At rear of Playhouse, Town Centre
Owned by Harlow College
The Philosopher was acquired by Harlow Technical College in 1960, following consultation with the Harlow Art Trust.
The sculpture is deeply set into the ground. Harlow College used to be on the site where the flats (Dadswood) behind the sculpture now sit. I suspect that Harlow College either didn’t want the sculpture and left it here or didn’t (still don’t) know they own it. The developers have built their fence around it. The sculpture stood to the left of Harlow Technical College entrance on the pavement. It remains in the public domain and is fenced off from the housing. The site was sold off for housing development and the College relocated to East site, which was the former Netteswell school in the 1992. Previously installed in the College Hall, the John Piper mural, The Englishman’s Home, from the Festival of Britain was loaned to the Southbank Centre to mark its 60th anniversary and then to the V&A for British Design 1948-2012. There being no public space for its display it was sold by Harlow Art Trust.
see Newsletter No 13 September 2011.
Sadly the Philosopher is an example of a sculpture that has been damaged by time and weather.
The left hand had lost a finger and in 2015 the right arm and hand had been torn off and lost.
Repairs were done in August the cost being found by Essex County Council insurance and the rest by the Friends of Harlow Sculpture and the Gibberd Gallery from the Charity Car Park they ran.
Details of repair work are given in the Newsletter No 24 October 2015.