Monday, 23 January 2017

Book Review: Meet Barbara Hepworth

Barbara Hepworth is one of those artists I will always love and when I visited her sculpture garden last year I didn't want to leave without this lovely illustrated children's book by Laura Carlin. Of course I could have probably opted for something that wasn't for kids but I love buying picture books because they are so visually pleasing! Laura also has such a wonderful naive style and works with a range of different media. I love how throughout the book collage is combined with a simple line of colour in crayon. 

Meet Barbara Hepworth (published by the Tate) introduces children to the world of sculpture, giving them an insight into fine art and how the sculptural forms can be viewed both abstract and more figuratively. The book encourages the reader to consider their own interpretations and perspective on the world rather than seeing just a simple block of stone or bronze; it all depends on how you look at it. I really love how the book describes the inspirations of Hepworth especially when it comes to nature, and how you can interact with the sculptures too by walking around them and looking through them. What can you see through the holes and negative space? The book invites children to use their imagination when looking at sculpture, whilst pushing them to create their own from the things they see around them by using items they can pick up through every day life.

It isn't a long book but it is small and special, giving children the chance to understand the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth through words they can recognise whilst encouraging them to "sculpt" something themselves. The narration and pictures are all quite calming and soft, much like Hepworth's sculptures.  Even though it's lovely to read on it's own, it definitely makes a great accompaniment when viewing her work as the ideas throughout the book can then be put into practice. The book is a pleasing perception of a world that requires a little bit of extra thought and obviously great for any fellow adults out there who are a fan of her art or even just beautiful illustration. 

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