This summer Tate Britain opens a major exhibition on the work of Barbara Hepworth – one of Britain’s greatest sculptors. Want to know more? We chatted to Inga Fraser, the curator behind the show, to get the inside scoop on the blockbuster exhibition before it opens on June 24th.
Can you give us a dummies guide intro to the exhibition and Hepworth’s work?
Barbara Hepworth is one of Britain’s most important modern artists and this exhibition is the first retrospective of her work in London for almost 50 years! She mainly worked as a sculptor and said that sculpture must be understood ‘in person’ – as seeing it in front of you means you experience the materials, textures, forms and mass in a unique way. People often have a strong emotional response to Hepworth’s sculpture – it expresses human feeling in the abstract.
What is unique about the exhibition?
The rooms of the exhibition will focus on the particular environments in which her work was made or seen, such as the Hampstead studio she shared with her second husband Ben Nicholson, the avant-garde magazines she collaborated on and in which her work was published, the landscape of St. Ives in Cornwall where she moved to at the outbreak of war in Europe, and the amazing sculpture pavilion designed by the famous Dutch modernist architect Gerrit Rietveld.
What are the pieces you are most excited about?
I am so excited to see four of Hepworth’s largest carved sculptures from the 1950s together in one room. She was sent a shipment of around 17 tonnes of Guarea wood from Nigeria – and this was transported to the tiny seaside town of St. Ives in Cornwall where she was living. The wood is scented and Hepworth was able to create astonishing abstract forms from the giant logs. It will be a unique opportunity to see these beautiful works together in one space.
How do you start working on an exhibition like this?
You read! You read everything you can get your hands on, then look at as much work as you can, and from there you begin to form an idea of the focus of the exhibition. In this case we were keen to explore her often overlooked international reputation (she had exhibitions all over Europe, in Latin American and Japan in the 1960s and 1970s) and also her involvement with film and photography, both as an extension of her artistic creativity and as a canny means of promoting her work.
Tell us about your career path and how you found yourself in art?
I studied History and Art History at university and after graduating worked part-time, which — super strict budgeting aside — enabled me to volunteer and do internships in arts organisations. I was interested in a broad span of visual culture in the 20th century – art, fashion, design, film and photography and so I worked at the Fashion in Film Festival and other London galleries before joining Tate in 2013.
How would you encourage young people keen to get into the field?
A job in the arts is one of the most rewarding roles you can get. Everyone is so passionate about what they do. I would encourage anyone who wants to work in the arts to gain practical experience. Study is important, and you should pay great attention to detail there, but a detailed knowledge of artworks ‘in the flesh’ is invaluable. Go to as many galleries and exhibitions as you can, really look at what you see there.
Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for a Modern World,24 June – 25 October, book ticketes
As well as two Unique catwalk collections a year, we’ve now added Pre-Fall and Resort to the list – mini capsule lines that give a feel for the main season trends to come. You can shop Pre-Fall now (who got their hands on Alexa’s dress?), but you’ll have to wait until later this year for Resort. It’s ok though – judging by the reactions at our press preview this week, we reckon it’ll be worth the wait.
Top editors and journalists from the likes of Vogue and Elle headed to a posh townhouse in Soho for the preview – an apt location given the collection’s muse: a cool, free-spirited girl visiting London to party in Soho, probably into the early hours, probably on a school night.
Geoffrey Finch, our creative design consultant said, “all the journalists went crazy for the crushed pink velvet suit. It’s a little bit Margot Tenenbaum; it’s a little bit something a Kray brother would have given,” he said, referring to the British gangsters of ’60s Soho, always surrounded by glamorous girls.
Other favourites with the fashion crowd were the supple leather mini dresses, cashmere-blend Bretons and silky blouses with big cat patterns. All we can say is, bring on November!
A girls’ holiday to a Greek island is practically a rite of passage (Kavos, anyone?) so even better if you can do it in mega style (and, dare we say it, with a little more class). Our Senior Digital Editor Alison Taylor went to Crete’s Daios Cove with fashion bloggers Julia Rebaudo and Anneli Bush for major chill time and to get creative with a camera. Click images below to scroll through the gallery.
Daios Cove does not mess about on the, frankly, awe-inspiring setting. What’s not to love about a hotel resort that is perched, miracle-like, on the edge of a cliff, with a private cove accessed by a funicular train and rooms that have their own swimming pools? Throw in a heli-pad and it’s all feeling a bit Kimye, or like a Bond Villain’s lair. In a good way.
Now that we’re all so busy – constantly switched on, frantically running around – being somewhere that encourages you to stay put feels right; it feels gooooood. The one-stop nature of a resort like Daios means you really do have everything you need within a lazy up-and-down in a lift or hop on a golf buggy (I defy anyone to not find this fun). There’s the beach (with watersport options), three pools, four restaurants (from fine dining to poolside to local taverna style), a(n) unbelievable spa (with Anne Semonin treatment menu) and, of course, your kickass room with private pool. The standard rooms here are like suites, with spacious living areas, and have giant beds. There really is no excuse not to re-lax.
Take A Trip
Should you want to venture out, do like we did and take a boat trip to historical neighbouring island Spinalonga and do some swimming off the boat before lunch on the deck. The hotel arranged everything. There are also some really pretty villages nearby to get an angle on the local culture. We visited Krista, a pretty postcard style village with traditional lace shops (crochet is v big this season), a church, traditional tavernas and amazing rural views.
Take Some Pics!
Getting away from work and the usual distractions meant we could all put some time into taking some great photos with our Olympus PEN cameras. Holidays are the perfect time to do the stuff you love, whether that’s shooting, writing or reading that novel you’ve been meaning to read. Ace photographer and Olympus ambassador Julia taught us a few photography tricks which we’ll share v soon.
Love the outfits? Shop them below and get the girls’ packing tips here
3. I love a pair of espadrilles. My collection is growing and the boyish high-cut style of the Topshop ones are perfect. I like to travel in them and use for eveningwear as an alternative to sandals.
Any packing tips?
Stick to a basic colour palette of neutrals (I like white, blue, black and grey) and then pick a few colourful pieces to weave into your outfits. Roll everything when packing your suitcase – it’s a great space saver and you can see everything in a glance. Finally, take a tanning moisturiser with you and use it everyday to help boost your tan!
1. The Panama Hat – to complete the holiday look and keeping my face shaded from the sun!
2. The Denim Skirt – such a versatile every day piece which can easily take you from day to night.
3. The White Boho Top – thrown over your bikini, teamed with your denim shorts or with some culottes and heels for a chic evening look.
Any packing tips?
Versatility is key! Bring lightweight and neutral coloured pieces, that you can dress up or down. Think loose fitted pieces such as cotton and silk tops, shirts, dresses and skirts. Keep the colours tonal so you can easily mix and match! Don’t bring too many heels; rather invest in beautiful studded or bejewelled leather sandals – keeping the look casual luxe.