Uncle Godfrey’s Guernica

I wish everybody gets into the flow and lets their crazy out, like my Uncle Godfrey in this video.

Godfrey Stephens and his art are subjects worth several novels, art books, documentaries, exhibitions, videos, therapy sessions and blogs.  With all those pent-up words, I am paradoxically unsure of how to begin to describe him to you.  I think I wont try just now.   Uncle G has been an inspiration to me through his art- his paintings and sculpture speak volumes, whispering conundrums yelling outrages, and undulating beauty.  In an earlier post I mentioned having written a few unpublished books.   My most recent work-in-progress is a coffee table book about Godfrey’s art titled “Wood Storms and Raging Canvass”.

Keeping with the theme of this blog of inspiring change, Godfrey became a pacifist in his youth.  In recent years, he smashed and arc-welded hundreds of guns and swords into this amazing sculpture pictured below.  A work in progress, this huge piece changes radically every few months.  It is a peaceful protest piece, Godfrey’s equivalent to Picasso’s Guernica.  It wears several titles including “Nunka Mas”, “Never More War” and “The Anti-War Hole.”


May 2012 photo


This is how the sculpture looked like about a year ago. From a distance, you can make out the “Sisutil” or Sea Serpent in Chinook West Talk. Hidden on the other side, spiralling in a double helix is an ancient Greek dolphin.

Garth Woodworth

Photo of bent and smashed chains, guns, swords. Photo by Garth Woodworth

6 Guns garth woodworth

Close up of Nunka Mas, sprinkled with dew. Photo by Garth Woodworth

I remember that the original title of this piece was “Turning Swords into Ploughshares”.  May we turn weapons into art.  May those factories where bombs were built and now pesticides are produced be turned back into fallow fields, sown with organic nitrogen-fixing alfalfa, teeming with insects and birds.

Let’s transform.

Let us see infinitely peaceful possibilities.


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