" a strong example of Hepworth's two-dimensional work
parabolic curves and arcs suggest a relationship between the colours
and the shifting perspectives of inside and outside, surface and string"
The war, Cornwall, and artist in landscape, 1939–1946
Hepworth began producing gouache and pencil works shortly before the outbreak of war in 1939. Having taken refuge from London with her husband (Ben Nicholson) and children in Cornwall, she did not have much time to carve, neither did she have a space of her own. Instead she filled the gap left by carving by producing two-dimensional works.
"In the late evenings, and during the night
I did innumerable drawings in gouache and pencil
– all of them abstract, and all them my own way of exploring
the particular tensions and relationships of form and colour
which were to occupy me in sculpture during the later years of the war. . ."
These creations, a combination of drawing and painting, were to become an important process in Hepworth's art. Hepworth herself acknowledged the huge relevance of these works to her sculptures: ‘they are not just a way of amusing myself, nor are they experimental probings – they are my sculptures born in the disguise of two dimensions.' Whilst they rarely related to actual sculptures, they were ‘a form of exploration…abstract in essence – relating to colour and form but existing in their own right.'
..."I used colour and strings in many of the carvings of this time. The colour in the concavities plunged me into the depth of water, caves, or shadows deeper than the carved concavities themselves. The strings were the tension I felt between myself and the sea, the wind or the hills. The barbaric and magical countryside of rocky hills, fertile valleys, and dynamic coastline of West Penwith has provided me with a background and a soil which compare in strength with those of my childhood in the West Riding. Moreover it has supplied me with one of my greatest needs for carving: a strong sunlight and a radiance from the sea which almost surrounds this spit of land, as well as a milder climate which enables me to carve out of doors nearly the whole year round."(see, I'm trying to work out how Hepworth came to illustrate Raine's book) (and it's not as easy as you think - there I was thinking that everysinglethingintheworld would be on the net at the end of my fishing pole) (I can see a trip to the British Library coming up) (anyhoo, you'll remember a lot of this from the other day) (won't you) (cos you were paying attention) (weren't you) (yes you!)