Today we braved the blustery weather and went to the opening weekend of the Hepworth in Wakefield, a major brand new gallery space to showcase the work of Wakefield born sculptress Barbara Hepworth. It’s an incredible building; dramatic, dark, imposing and beautifully situated on the River Calder. Although the building looks pared back and almost severe, the welcome inside couldn’t have been more warm and friendly.
It has to be said that we nearly didn’t make it inside as the outdoor play area is really rather brilliant and the kids insisted on trying that out for a while before we even got through the door. What a great idea to have a play area. I do love how galleries, museums and stately homes are now encouraging the whole family to spend time together experiencing art, sculpture, design and history, as it means I get to spend time indulging in my fondness for art and the kids get to have fun too!
There are several gallery rooms holding a permanent collection of works, plasters and working models by Barbara Hepworth, pieces by some of her contemporaries, and the Wakefield Art collection. Between now and October 9th 2011, there is also a temporary exhibition of the work of Eva Rothschild entitled Hot Touch.
We got a great bag of craft materials to make our own homage to Eva.
We had a child paced (ie: very speedy) tour around the gallery, during which we were all very well behaved. Hepworth’s sculptures are just so tactile, I have to look at them clasping my hands together to stop myself from stroking them! Although it was a quick walk around, I was able to view some beautiful pieces of work, some of which I’ve already had the pleasure of seeing in St Ives, and I’m looking forward to another viewing at a more leisurely pace.
We then had a bit of badge making and a cup of tea, before heading home to make our own sculpture, and here it is!
We are already blessed to live so close to Temple Newsam and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and the Hepworth will definitely be added to the list of regularly visited places. At the time of writing, the kids are safely in bed and I am just going to take a look through their Summer 2011 programme of events and activities to see what we might try next…