The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield

On Friday, I went on an Art Fund trip to the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I hadn’t been to either of them before and thoroughly enjoyed both, though I could have done with more time for a better look round.  I saw all I could in the time available, though!

Hepworth Wakefield

While the Hepworth Gallery concentrates on the work of Barbara Hepworth (you probably guessed that bit), it also has far more than I’d expected by other artists, which was a bonus. A couple of large spaces were dedicated to an exhibition by Haroon Mirza; part of this consisted of works borrowed from the gallery’s collection and arranged:

Haroon Mirza installation from the front

And from the back

I have to say, I think incorporating a piece by Henry Moore into your own work is cheating a bit.  I preferred his work that didn’t borrow quite so heavily from others:

Haroon Mirza light installation
There were also major exhibitions on William Scott and Post-War British sculpture and painting, but neither of them allowed photography, I’m afraid. You’re just going to have to take my word that they’re well worth seeing.
Some other items, on loan from York Art Gallery, could be photographed, such as this wonderful painting by John Piper:
Stair Hole, Lulworth, by John Piper

Onto the Hepworth pieces. There were some limited restrictions on photography, but most items were fair game.  I wasn’t very good at taking a note of what’s what, though, but just try and appreciate them as a whole.

Smaller sculptures:

Larger works:
The magnificent Winged Figure:
Winged Figure, Barbara Hepworth
You don’t get any sense of scale in the photo, but it’s absolutely huge; this is a full-size aluminium model for a piece on the exterior of the John Lewis building in London.
And all together:
One of the most interesting galleries covers how Hepworth worked, with her tools and equipment:
It showed how she would carve blocks of plaster to give the forms she wanted and which could then be cast in bronze, or working with metal mesh, which would then be covered with hessian and plaster:
This piece was intended to show how bronze pieces were then given an oxidised finish, but I just liked the colours:
Next time: the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
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