HENLEY has proved to be home-from-home for artist Carolina Godoy — even though home is several thousand miles away in southern Chile, writes Lesley Potter.
Carolina, a former professional rower, visited Henley last week to put the finishing touches to her first UK solo exhibition at the River and Rowing Museum.
“Henley is beautiful,” she said. “Rowing is not such a big sport in Chile, although it is getting more popular. But Henley is very important in the rowing world — I think it’s the most important city in the world for rowing — and of course we all know about it back home. My husband has even rowed here several times.”
She rowed for the Chilean national team between 2000 and 2004, winning a silver medal in the 2002 World Rowing Championships in Seville, but after retiring from the sport she took up a degree in architecture — then realised her passion and talent lay in becoming an artist. The 11 oil-on-canvas paintings on show at the museum from last weekend until June all depict rowing scenes, and Carolina, who took up rowing aged 13 in her home town of Valdivia, says her work tells of her love affair with the sport.
She said: “The paintings tell my story. They are all about my personal experience in rowing. It was easy for me, and felt natural, and I love the relationship you have with nature as a rower. I want to display the many contrasts found in the sport — strength versus elegance, shock versus softness, the calm of the steady state padding versus the chaos of the race.”
She has previously exhibited her work in Chile, Argentina, Mexico and Switzerland.
Synchronos by Carolina Godoy is at the River and Rowing Museum until June 1. For more information visit www.rrm.co.uk