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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Barbara Hepworth and the Festival of Britain

In 1951 Hepworth made two new sculptures for the Festival of Britain, an expansive programme of exhibitions and events held to celebrate Britain’s post-war achievements in technology, industrial design, architecture and the arts. Contrapuntal Forms comprised of two monumental figures carved in stone, while Turning Forms was an abstract, flowing form made from reinforced concrete. In summer 2021 they will be brought together for the first time in 70 years for the exhibition Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life at The Hepworth Wakefield. This talk will discuss these major public commissions in the context of Hepworth’s broader career, and how together they speak to Hepworth’s remarkable artistic vision and achievements.

Eleanor Clayton is curator at The Hepworth Wakefield and a Barbara Hepworth specialist. As a freelance writer on contemporary art, Clayton’s reviews and features have appeared in FriezeArt Monthly, and The Burlington, among other periodicals. She is the editor and contributing author of Howard Hodgkin, Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain, and Viviane Sassen.

Event information

Barbara Hepworth and the Festival of Britain by Eleanor Clayton

An online Zoom talk, free for PSSA Members.  £3.50 for non-members (join the PSSA).

Free tickets and charged tickets book via Eventbrite.

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Barbara Hepworth's 'Turning Forms' at the Festival of Britain 1951.

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