barbara hepworth

September 15, 2011  in inspiring places


Sometimes I find when I’m rushing around the busy streets of London it’s easy to forget to look up. But there are visual delights up high everywhere in London – architectural features, vintage signs, statues and sculptures. I was on Oxford Street yesterday, nipping into John Lewis for some haberdashery supplies before heading on to have a look at a location house for the final shoot for my book. As I left I glanced up and remembered this wonderful sculpture that has graced the wall of their building since 1963. It’s called ‘Winged Figure’ and it’s by Dame Barbara Hepworth, one of my favourite artists. I had my camera so took a photo, and it reminded me of my visits to her home and studio in Cornwall.

Barbara Hepworth

The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden is one of my favourite places in the UK. I have visited a few times with my family whilst on holiday in St Ives. It’s absolutely beautiful and I could spend all day here even though it is relatively small. Dame Barbara’s sculpture studio has been left exactly as it was in 1975 when she died at the age of 72, with sculptures still in progress and tools lying all around. It’s run by Tate who also have the main Tate St.Ives gallery there. Both are must-sees if you are ever in the area.

Barbara Hepworth

Barbara Hepworth

Barbara Hepworth

The sculpture garden is wonderful too. It’s raised from the street and almost feels like you have stepped into another country. My little boy said it was his favourite place we visited on our holiday, even more than the beach!

There is also a large Hepworth sculpture at Snape Maltings in Suffolk that we visited in June and my son recognised the similarity with the sculptures he loved in St.Ives.

The new Hepworth Wakefield gallery opened earlier this year and looks amazing, I can’t wait to visit – a definite trip to plan for the future. And I’m sure my children will be happy to come along too!


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  1. Sania Pell says:

    The lovely team at Tate Kids just sent me a link to this video tour on their website of the garden in St.Ives.

  2. Babs says:

    I, too, scurry past that wonderous sculpture many times on Oxford Street. Thank you for making me want to look up and admire.

  3. CJ Tatts says:

    I agree – the Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden in St Ives, Cornwall is a fabulous place and definitely worth a visit if possible.

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

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