Natural Beauties: Barbara Hepworth

Barbara Hepworth is without doubt one of the best known British woman artists of the last century (maybe ever) and it's not hard to see why. Along with some of her peers like Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth's work defined a whole new era of modern sculpture.  

Hepworth was hugely influenced by natural landscapes and environmental forms, and this is evident in the organic forms and flowing lines of her sculptures that are now so instantly recognisable. 

With the heavy influence of the natural world on Hepworth's work, it only makes sense that some of the best places to see her stunning work is in the great outdoors - today, her works adorn the halls of Tate Britain and the rolling fields of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Her work takes centre stage on Oxford Street sitting proudly on the exterior of John Lewis and there's even TWO entire museums (both with fantastic gardens) dedicated to her legacy. 

Hepworth was born in Wakefield in 1903 (where you can now found a whole gallery built in her name). She trained in Leeds before travelling all over Europe, moving then to London until the second world war, during which she evacuated to St Ives along with a number of artists, who would eventually form the St Ives School.

St Ives was a huge inspiration to Hepworth (the light really is something else down there) and this was where she would live until she tragically died in a studio fire in 1975. Following repairs after the fire, Hepworth's St Ives studio and the adjoining gardens became home to one of these museums

Despite the unpleasant end, Hepworth lead a hugely impressive life, she was one of the few women of her time who gained international recognition for her work - whilst also juggling triplets (!) and towards the end of her life, a long battle with cancer. It's not surprising she's now got two museums dedicated to her!

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