Hepworth explained in conversation with Edouard Roditi that a sculpture 'is for a specific landscape. My own awareness of the structure of the lanscape ... provides me with a kind of stimulus. Suddenly an image emerges clearly in my mind, the idea of an object that illustrates the nature or quality of my response' (Edouard Roditi, Dialogues on Art, 1960, p.92). The artist drew many experiences to the production fo the work. She saw some qualities in the relationship of Neolithic stones with the landscapes of Cornwall, suggesting that 'Any standing stone in the hills here is a figure' (Bowness 1971, p.13); as well as this the artist recalls an isolated statue of a priest, stood on the Greek island of Parmos. At over two and a half metres tall, Figure for Landscape is a substantial presence for this work.
The hollowing of her sculptures is also a common feature within the artist's work, allowing light to enter and refract within the solid form. In Hepworth's words, the process conveys 'a sense of being contained by a form as well as of containing it' (Roditi, Dialogues on Art, 1960, p.100). In regards to this work, it also suggests 'allusions to the womb and to the caring, sheltering functioning of the mother' (Claire Doherty, re-reading the Work of Barbara Hepworth in the Light of Debates on "the Feminine", 1996, p.168).
To create this sculpture, Hepworth began with an aluminum armature. Layer upon layer of plaster was piled onto this sturdy structure. When the plaster dried, Hepworth then directly carved into the hard surface, working and reworking it until she reached a final form. The form was then cast in bronze in two parts. Hepworth preferred working in the open air to ensure that when installed out-of-doors, her sculptures would respond to the light in precisely the way she intended.
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