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Monday, 20 December 2010

Ascending form

Not everybody lives within the second largest collection of contemporary women's art work in the world. However I am lucky enough to say that this is the case. Art adorns the walls of the dining room, the bar and the corridors which track the path to our bedrooms. But it is the sculptures which have become landmarks in the gardens which are my interest today.

Sculpture, more than other arts has the power to adapt to its surroundings and to communicate with its environment. With the garden coated in fresh inches of snow we are reminded of sculpture's adaptability. Barbara Hepworth's Ascending Form holds the garden in its magical orbit, it is the focal point of all views, the silent observer of snow dancers and sun bathers.

Hepworth made many upright forms based on the idea of the figure in the landscape. Ascending Form has the grace of the anonymous female silhouette with its large human eye. It also draws us beyond the woman, through the hole of its view finder and in to the landscape.

In the snow it transforms again. The snow highlights, it clings to form and depth drawing our attention to details lost through frequent viewing. In the snow I look out of my kitchen window at the solitary Ascending Form and remember how beautiful I think it is.

"my approach to bronze isn't a modeller's approach. I like to create the armature of a bronze as if I'm building a boat and then putting the plaster on is like covering the bones with skin and muscles. But I build it up so that I can cut it. I like to carve the hard plaster surface" (in conversation with Alan Bowness 1971).


  1. The solitary sillouette of Hepworth's woman is even more evocative in the snow, and has moved me very much tonight. I particularly like your second photograph. I look forward to reading more of your older posts when I return from London. And yes, that is the film I meant, he looked just like I pictured Jude would look like.

  2. Thank you, Dolly! I do think it looks particularly good in the snow. I hope you enjoy London.