Rock Form (Porthcurno)
This abstract sculpture is a tall rounded shape with a textured surface, four holes of varied size render the inside of the sculpture almost hollow. Its highly simplified, organic form is characteristic of Barbara Hepworth's work, which has an affinity with that of Henry Moore and Jean Arp. In the midst of its surroundings of plate glass and concrete, the surface texture of the work and its gently rounded form recall the world of nature. It is imbued with a sense of serenity and power that invites closer reflection upon its formal qualities.
There was some argument over the type of statue to stand in the Mander Centre between Stanley Sellers, the principle architect, and the Wolverhampton Civic Society. The Civic Society prefered the idea of a figurative piece, the reasulting work was also criticised by Ron Dulton the Head of the College of Art.
The Express and Star quotes Mike Travers, Lecturer at the Department of Sculpture, Wolverhampton School of Art: 'Why does one place a sculpture in an architectural setting such as the Mander Square? As an ornament? Surely not. As an object of contemplative reverence? Hardly needed in what is hoped to become a thriving shopping precinct... Should the sculpture articulate the space and relate to the architecture? These questions do not seem to have been considered in the choice of the Hepworth sculpture. The piece looks uncomfortable with its artificially induced green patina, a ready-made antiquity, its self-conscious attention to surface texture as an end in itself. It appears rhetorical and crude in contrast with its surroundings of plate glass, steel, concrete and marble'.
Others, including Robin Plummer, Principal of the College of Art, and Stanley Sellers, the architect of the Mander Centre, defended the the Hepworth sculpture in view of its intrinsic value as a work of art.
Related works : There is a cast from the same sculpture at Truro. (1)
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