Artist: Barbara Hepworth

The lasting impression of visiting Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in St Ives.

I was fortunate enough to visit Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in St Ives about 15 years ago and it left a lasting impression on me.

Not only was she extraordinarily skilled and talented but she was making huge strides in the arts for women.

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There is something really special about experiencing her work in the outdoors, placed in her garden as she wished and weathered by time. The softness of the natural foliage is the perfect counter to her harder organic forms. Her studio feels as if she may have just finished working and downed her tools for the day. It really captures what it must have been like to live and work there.

Image from, A Greater Freedom: Hepworth 1967-75 at The Hepworth Wakefield 2015.

Though situated in rural West Cornwall, the St Ives artists were very much included in the global conversation on Modernism and abstraction. Barbara Hepworth was married to Ben Nicholson and they were at the heart of the St Ives group. Many European and USA artists visited St Ives as its reputation spread as a creative hub, some of the most ambitious advances in art were to originate from this small town. To this day it is a magnet for artists and now has the Tate St Ives at the centre of this community.

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