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Barbara Hepworth was an English modernist artist and sculptor. 

Hepworth claimed that she rarely drew what she saw, and in fact drew what she felt inside her body - I find this really interesting as Hepworth’s sculpture work is rather abstract, in which meaning she imagined the forms she sculpted inside her head, therefore creating her own forms. I find this really interesting as it is almost like taking the emotion outside of you head and allowing everyone to see it. 

I really like how the artist has used various materials to create her pieces, for example; wood, marble and stone. I believe her sculptural work looks best as wood - the reason for this is because i find it has a more earthy feel and tone to it, reminding me of the nature of our emotions and how we cant control them sometimes.

I notice that her work is very bold and sturdy - perhaps suggesting another side of her personality.. maybe she had a very strong outer shell and wanted to show people in an artistic way? or, the complete opposite and didn't want people to see her true self and the only way for her to release bottled up feelings was through artwork. 

My favourite piece by Hepworth is called ‘Figure’ (Nyanga) created 1959 - 60. I was lucky enough to see this work at the Tate Modern art gallery and learn more about this piece such as during the making of ‘Figure’, Hepworth’s mind was preoccupied with ‘Thoughts of Africa and the United Nations’, expressing her worry for human suffering. Although the piece at first doesn’t look like it is explaining human suffering, when you start to analyse each shape, curve, and crevasses within the work you can notice some kind of resemblance (I can see a gun shot human rib) which widens your perspective on the point she was trying to get across. 

If i were to change this work myself, I would make some parts of the form sharper, to resemble a strict, harsh time of life.

© Jessica Anne Duggan, all rights reserved