Archaeology and Barbara Hepworth

There are a lot of different ways you could think about sculpture, or even individual sculptors, in ways that are inspired by or which can complement the ways we work and think in archaeology.

One of these is whether archaeology provides an appropriate methodology to understand the working space of an artist. Is that studio at any point in its life or afterlife an archaeological site? Or is is better thought of as a space of performative action, or is it an installation or a museum? Should we approach it to uncover ‘facts’ towards understanding the artist or is it more important to use that space to inspire creativity in those who encounter it?

Last year I was invited by Tate to take part in a 24 hour seminar discussing questions like these and  with a mixed group of curators, artists, geographers, archaeologists and others. Rather than go into great detail, better to let the project’s outcomes speak for themselves.

There is a short film on the project here and Tate’s report on the seminar and our discussions can be found here as well as a general project webpage on Tate’s main site.

Tate have a major Hepworth retrospective coming up in the near-ish future and I’m really looking forward to it, especially after spending those 24 hours talking about her. The possibility of walking in and seeing my face projected on the wall somewhere, not so much.


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