“Body experience… is the centre of creation” — Barbara Hepworth

Hepworth_1211_bBarbara Hepworth lived and worked at Trewyn Studio in St Ives, Cornwall, now the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, from 1949 until her death in 1975. The photograph above was taken in the Sculpture Garden in September 2012. Here are some of the things she said about her work:

All my early memories are of forms and shapes and textures. Moving through and over the West Riding landscape with my father in his car, the hills were sculptures; the roads defined the forms. Above all, there was the sensation of moving physically over the contours of foulnesses and concavities, through hollows and over peaks — feeling, touching, seeing, through mind and hand and eye. This sensation has never left me. I, the sculptor, am the landscape. I am the form and I am the hollow, the thrust and the contour.

My works are an imitation of my own past and present.

You can’t make a sculpture, in my opinion, without involving your body. You move and you feel and you breathe and you touch. The spectator is the same. His body is involved too. If it’s a sculpture he has to first of all sense gravity. He’s got two feet. Then he must walk and move and use his eyes and this is a great involvement. Then if a form goes in like that – what are those holes for? One is physically involved and this is sculpture. It’s not architecture. It’s rhythm and dance and everything. It’s do with swimming and movement and air and sea and all our well-being… Sculpture is involved in the body living in the spirit or the spirit living in the body, whichever way you like to put it.

I rarely draw what I see. I draw what I feel in my body.


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January 29, 2014 · 7:16 pm

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