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Blog RESEARCH YEAR III, TERM II

BARBARA HEPWORTH

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

I remember first encountering Hepworth’s work on an Instagram post (quoted above) made by the National Portrait Gallery to commemorate her birthday. Then it followed by a post by Tate:

“All my early memories are forms and shapes and textures. Moving through and over the West Riding landscape with my father in his car, the hills were sculptures; the road defined the form. Above all, there was the sensation of moving physically over the contours of fulnesses 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.” – taken from Tate’s Instagram

  • This also supports my idea of using sculpture as a method of recalling memories through touch!
  • Doing so sets you back to that time and space, allowing you to envision it more vividly!

I also quickly want to refer back to the first quote: “I rarely draw what I see. I draw what I feel in my body.”

  • I found this particularly inspiring at this point because it just supports incorporating or even basing the drawing experience off from personal and emotional experiences, either with the memory being recalled, the sensation of it/the present time, or of the material and subject matter at hand
    • I have received some advice/feedback in the past about disregarding myself from my drawings, and although I see a valid point in there which I will not disregard, I see emotion, feeling and intuition as an inseperatable part of my practice – it’s what makes it so personal and intimate!
    • It also supports the fact that experience is subjective and memory is also subjective – we all pick up and commuincate present, past and future experiences differently

YouTube. 2015. Barbara Hepworth: Freedom And Form | FT Life. [online] Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW78Qjnt2Qw&gt; [Accessed 3 February 2020].

  • “she was fascinated with our relationship to the natural world”
  • constantly experimented with new ways she could challenge sculpture so that it was not only something to be looked at but also something that the viewer could truly experience for themselves
    • something that immediately intrigues and engages the viewer
    • something that draws their attendtion and makes them want to investigate the piece
    • but it is also, if not more so, about the artist’s experience in the making of the artwork – her touch and physicality; her ability to touch and create through touch, sensation and intuitive responsiveness to her surroudings, are the qualities of the experience that personally draw the artist in – qualities which immerse would have perhaps immersed her completely in the experience
  • “abstracting influence of the natural world” clearly visible in her sculpture, as demonstrated by Mother and Child (1934)
  • colour and string to ARTICULATE the negative space
    • acknowledging the surrounding us space as also important in our being, and how we are an unseperatable part of our surroundings
    • the symbiotic relationship between the two
    • making the invisible space between us, palpable

 

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