In Review: Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life

On Wednesday 8th March, it is International Women’s Day. In celebration of this, for this month’s Cover to Cover we have chosen a book that delves into the life and works of a remarkable woman in her field, the artist Barbara Hepworth.

Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life
Barbara Hepworth: Art and Life
'Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life', by Eleanor Clayton

Fusing Hepworth’s public statements with her private world, author Eleanor Clayton traces the timeline of the remarkable life, work and legacy of this truly unique artist. For the first time, a fully illustrated account is provided of Barbara Hepworth’s enlightened approach, merging dance, music, poetry, contemporary politics, science and technology, and more, into one inspirational philosophy of art and life.

In what we found to be a very thought provoking discussion, in this book, Hepworth’s most famous and seemingly simplistic technique of combining two pieces of shaped stone is shown to have much deeper meaning. Through these wholesome, undulating forms, Hepworth acknowledges the connection between ourselves and the earth we walk, a relationship we know well as gardeners and garden-lovers.

Using 178 illustrations and drawing on previously unpublished letters to friends, the author throws new light on Hepworth’s work by aligning her ‘private thoughts’ with her public persona. The result is a book that will enlighten any reader to the powerful artistic journey Hepworth took, which resulted in the thought-provoking intricacy she applied to each of her pieces.

‘Your work is very organic,’ an interviewer said to Hepworth. ‘It’s meant to be,’ she replied, ‘I’m organic myself.’

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