an artists' view

an artists' view

Friday, 20 May 2011

The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield is 'officially' open; tomorrow (Saturday) is the first day of opening to the public. I was lucky to go tonight for the speeches of thanks etc, that greeted the preview opening.
It was lovely to see paintings I've viewed for the past 30 years at Wentworth Terrace, in this new setting; a purpose-built gallery. Wentworth Terrace is a lovely building, and very welcoming, with gorgeous stained glass in some of the windows. But house-sized, it was problematic for displaying artwork.
The Hepworth is BIG and it shows the paintings, drawings, and sculptures with lots of space around them, and lit beautifully.
And - as I wrote in May 2010, the views of the River Calder are simply stunning.
The natural light bounces off the water, and pours through the windows, warm and golden. So many people stood looking out of the windows - just as I did 12 months ago.
Now that at last it's open, I hope us Wakefield people visit The Hepworth and take it to our hearts. We'll get to see some fantastic art; not just the work already in the collection, but visiting exhibitions. I want us to come to love it.

I'm looking forward to visiting again in a few days, and having a proper look around; a thorough looksee. The Hepworth sculpture 'Figure (Nanjizal)' from 1958 is one I want to spend some time with. Carved yew wood, it retains the chisel marks on the inner surface. A lovely contrast with the smoothness of the outer tree trunk.
And in the St Ives gallery, I finally found the sculpture 'Chun'.
We visited Chun Quoit when we visited St. Ives, and sat for ages, while I took photographs and sketched; listening to the lapwings' song. It's a neolithic tomb; it stands on the swell of the moor, away from everything. Later, I drew it again; this time on an A1 piece of paper. It's one of the biggest drawings I've ever done. It hangs on my landing; and tonight I shall pass it as I go up to bed.
And I'll think about the pleasure I'm going to have, when I return to the gallery, and look again at Hepworth's sculpture 'Chun'.

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