Just seeing the work of Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975) is almost like being blind with one eye and not being able to see with the other. The sculptures are a lust for the eye, yet it is not the visual aspect that makes them so powerful.
Like no other artist Barbara knew that ‘vision is not sight– it is a perception of the mind’. She believed that sculptures must be touched to be truly experienced. She carefully directed the way her work was photographed and published.
Standing next to her sculptures, while not being allowed to touch her work is frustrating. They call for touch and intimacy. No matter the size of some of her sculptures they all radiate softness and invite you to hug and caress them.
While standing next to one of her powerful wood sculptures, it is not the object itself I see. It is the energy, and the art of creation, I feel. I sense the way Barbara blew life into matter; shape shifted it, by slow and steady movements. And how she transformed brute stone and wood into sculptures with soul.