1 Jan 2014 – 3 May 2014

Wakefield, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • FREE CITY BUS The gallery is on the FreeCityBus route operated Monday – Saturday between 9.30am and 3pm. The bus route includes Wakefield Westgate and Kirkgate train stations, Wakefield bus station, Ridings Shopping Centre, Trinity Walk and other city centre drop offs and is every 10 minutes. The Hepworth Wakefield bus stop is adjacent to the Wakefield Waterfront on A61 Barnsley Road and the gallery. All journeys on the bus are free of charge and each FreeCityBus is accessible and can carry one wheelchair at a time. For more information about the FreeCityBus visit the Metro website, www.wymetro.com, tel: 0113 245 7676 BUSES Wakefield bus station is located on Union Street, Wakefield WF1 3AG. The gallery is situated on the main bus routes with services provided by all operators which stop on Bridge Street immediately adjacent to The Hepworth including 59, 96, 97, 102, 110, 194, 195, 196 and 485. For more information and routes please visit www.arrivabus.co.uk, tel: 0871 200 22 33 www.wymetro.com, tel: 0113 245 7676
  • The gallery is 0.3 miles from Wakefield Kirkgate train station (approximately 8 minutes walk) and 1 mile from Westgate train station (approximately 20 minutes walk). For train timetable information visit www.eastcoast.co.uk, www.grandcentralrail.com and www.nationalrail.co.uk tel: 08457 48 49 50


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The starting point is her series of Mother and Child sculptures. Hepworth repeatedly returned to this subject between 1927 and 1934, during which time she gave birth to her first son Paul Skeaping in August 1929. This was followed by the birth of her triplets Simon, Rachel and Sarah Hepworth-Nicholson in October 1934. She was not alone in exploring this subject matter. Several British artists working in the 1920s and ‘30s, including Henry Moore (1898-1986) and Jacob Epstein (1880-1959), also made sculptures depicting maternity. The subject held artistic and political significance as the sign of a newfound intimacy in art, and as an expression of vitality in the wake of the First World War and the approach of the Second World War. By 1935 Hepworth's work had, as she wrote later, 'changed direction although the only fresh influence had been the arrival of the children. The work was more formal and all traces of naturalism had disappeared, and for some years I was absorbed in the relationships in space, in size and texture and weight, as well as in the tensions between the two forms.' The clear subject matter of a mother and child, carved in stone or wood, disappeared from her work. In its place came pure and simple abstract forms that are not merely experiments but express what she called 'a spiritual vitality or inner life'. This display includes sculpture from the Wakefield Collection and private lenders. The photographs were mainly taken by Paul Laib, a professional photographer. They show many of Hepworth's sculptures that relate to the themes of this display and include works that have been lost or were destroyed during the Second World War.

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