Barbara Hepworth’s Sculpture Garden

Tree in Hepworth's Garden

Back in the days of A2 art, I did a project on Barbara Hepworth that I feel was most effective. This post is simply an experiment to upload pictures to the blog along with a quick blurb of Barbara Hepworth. I was in St. Ives yesterday and took a few photos. I managed to get a few of the sculptures inside the museum but due to copyright, those photos are not allowed to be displayed.

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture 1

Anyway, onto the artist…

Her sculptures defined a contemporary style of sculpture in a massive phase of art of the 20th century. The ‘Modernist Deco’ style is consistent in most of her pieces. Tell tale signs of her work include that of multi-textural surfaces, often smooth with modest colour pallets. They’re mostly very minimalist and organic, although at the same time, they have wire structures or very block-like geometric stances to them. Structurally, they often emphasise a strong sense of either negative space or positive form. She is not unique in exploring simple forms of positive and negative space. Another example would be Alexander Calder, who’s ‘Stabile’ sculptures use geometric and metallic shapes although in a fluid form.

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture 2

Hepworth’s Sculpture Garden is full of her works in stone, wood and wire, although the museum also displays her preliminary sketches and her colour ideas in pastels and paints. The more interesting aspect to the museum displays a section of her workshop. Unfinished sculptures in marble are left with tools laying beside the pieces. It gives a sense of ethereal presence. It also gives insight as to the points of her inspiration. In the workshop is a row of catus plants in pots. The shapes and forms seem to mimic the concepts in her sculptures.

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture 3

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture 4

Hepworth’s sculptures, although minimalist and bold, carry intricate balances of organic and geometric forms including wires, spheres, basic blocks or even peels of metal. All in all, Hepworth has managed to create something more convoluted and interesting out of basic and fundamental shapes and forms.

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture 5

I thought I’d just throw in some other photos too. I took loads, but I don’t want to drown my blog. I’ll check to see how long it takes to upload the page.

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture 6

Linear forms break up the negative space. This juxtaposition in style and shape create something unique and quite literally ‘eye catching.’ The sculpture invites the viewer to inspect the detail that is teased by light and shadows.



Barbara Hepworth Sculpture 7

Hepworth’s iconic manipulation of texture and tone is employed to enhance the abstract shape. The fluidity and movement of the sculpture is broken and jarred by the gnarled and wrinkled surface. Again, this sculpture plays with light and shadow to emphasise structure and shape with highlights and tonal disposition.

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture 8

Hepworth uses literally hundreds of different medias and materials. Here she plays with the concept of reflective and metallic surfaces, continuing with her motif with use of light and shadow.

The locals of St. Ives kept bragging about ‘the light’ of the place. They say that it’s simply beautiful and that it inspired artists from all over to work and settle in the place. It’s true, St. Ives is a pretty place. I’m not convinced that the light is any different, but perhaps I’m wrong. Clearly, Hepworth took full advantage over the concept of lights and shadows…

Great, photo project, done!


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