And to give you a sense of her and her place, this will matter later, here is how it describes itself:
“The Cornwall studio where Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975) found space to work, and explored bronze for the first time.
Barbara Hepworth married Ben Nicholson in 1938, and when the war came they evacuated with their young family to Cornwall. The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is based in the studio Hepworth established in 1949, in search of more space to work on her sculptures. After the war, and her divorce from Nicholson in 1951, Hepworth became an active figure in the developing St Ives modernist art community, and she was awarded the Freedom of St Ives in 1968 to acknowledge her contribution to the town. Trewyn Studio remained her studio until her death in 1975. Here she explored the potential of bronze for the first time, as well as continuing her work with stone and wood carving. ‘Finding Trewyn Studio was a sort of magic,’ Hepworth wrote, ‘Here was a studio, a yard and a garden where I could work in open air and space.’
The studio was established as the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden the year after Hepworth’s death in 1975, and has been managed by Tate since 1980. Today, visitors to the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden can see some of Hepworth’s most monumental sculptures in the environment for which they were created.”
But as you’ll see the house has been so carefully and respectfully turned into a museum that you really do feel as if you’re visiting the real artist’s studio, because we are.
Let’s have a look around. I’m not going to name all the sculptures, except for one we’ll take a particularly careful look at later. Nor am I going to tell you any more of the story of her life. We’re here experiencing the place.
Now a particular highlight. Another place where she worked and all of her stuff. We’ve both been here before a couple of times but feel like we must have rushed the other visits. This time we know we’ll be here for hours. Visiting the artist at work.
“Don’t just draw the sculptures, try to bring in what’s around them, so we know where we are. Try to give your work a sense of place.”
Naturally I consider these to be very wise words and decide to follow them in my own way, with my camera. We’ll take another brief walk round the garden and then meditate, in a sketching sort of way, on one particular sculpture. Now the particular sculpture I want to study carefully. Here is ‘Corymb.’ Done in 1959 and one of the smaller sculptures out here in the garden. There we are then. From all of its angles.