Fragments of Barbara Hepworth

緑を背に立つゆるやかで有機的なフォルム。大地から空へと伸びていく姿は、離れ、また合わさるのを繰り返す泡のよう。バーバラ・ヘップワースの彫刻作品は、いつも自然のなかで佇んでいる。どんなに大きくても、何ものにも遮られることはない。空気にも、時間にも。

A fluid organic form stands among the green landscape. The extending posture goes up in the sky like bubbles in a continuous detaching and fusing cycle. The sculptures of Barbara Hepworth usually stand still in nature. No matter how big they are, they never block any of their surroundings, not the air, not the time.

ヘップワースは彫刻に「風景」を取り入れた最初のアーティスト。20世紀半ばから彼女が活躍し始める前には、彫刻の世界にまだその概念はなかった。「彫刻家である自分は風景である」と語っているのは、自らも風景と同化したいという願いの表れなのだろう。

Barbara Hepworth is the first artist who merges “landscape” into sculptures; Before the mid-20th century with her contributing activities, there were no such a concept in world. Her saying, “I, the sculptor, am the landscape.” undoubtedly reveals her desire to fuse with the scenic creature in nature indeed.

そう思わせたのは、アトリエを構え、長く住んだイギリス南西部セント・アイヴズの美しい自然に魅せられたからかもしれない。入江や洞窟、崖と、場所によってまったく異なる表情を見せるコーンウォールの海岸に心を奪われて。彫刻に空いた大きな丸い穴は、彼女にとっての月や太陽を表す。月の輝く夜には、アトリエからすぐの海岸で刻々と変化する光をじっと眺めていた。多くの作品に見られるブルーやグリーンの色は、セント・アイヴズの月夜の海であり、日の出のグラデーショ ンでもあった。

Maybe her desire stemmed from her long dwelling history in the splendid nature of St. Ives in southwest of the United Kingdom. Her atelier is also located there, her heart is strongly hooked by the different expressions Cornwall presented through various angles from its fleets, caves, and cliffs. The huge round hole in her sculpture symbolizes the sun and the moon. She simply loves gazing at her surroundings through the spectacular night under the glittering moon at her atelier, which is right next to a shore. In fact, green and blue are employed in many of her works, and they are, the gradation of the sunrise and sparkling sea under the moonlight at St. Ives.

人よりもはるかに丈高い彫刻。それなのに包み込まれるようなやさしさ、温かみが伝わってくる。木彫から石へと素材を変えていった彼女が、あるときブロンズを知って作品が変化。その幸せな出会いは、下部から上部へと広がる独特のフォルムへと導いていく。彼女はまた、多くの絵画作品も残している。手術を行う人の手の絵は、彫刻とはまた異なる強さを内包する。写し取られているのは、一つの目標へと邁進する、美しく調和のとれたいくつもの手。たくさんの彫刻作品を作ってきた彼女自身の、それ自体が彫刻のような、陰影の際立つ広い手。

The sculpture is much taller than mankind. Still, it gently, subtly, and warmly embraces its audience. She first did wooden sculptures then stone, which changed to bronze later. This blissful encounter with bronze has brought us a unique form from the bottom blossoming up toward the top. She also has a lot of paintings. She has been impressed and touched by physicians’ hands operating surgeries, and thus hers could demonstrates somehow a different type of power from that in sculptures. In pictures, their hands create harmonies, and that pulls the goal closer and closer. She has created a huge number of sculptures, and she is like a sculpture as well, for her great hands stand out from shadows.

リーズの美術学校で運命的に出会ったヘンリー・ムーアとは、その後長く盟友であり続けた。切磋琢磨し、響き合うように制作する二人。親しい仲間のナウム・ガボが提唱し、1920年代の美術界を賑わせた構成主義にもそれぞれに傾倒したが、決定的に違ったのは、彼女は自然を肯定的に捉え、どこまでも純粋だったこと。

Meeting Henry Moore at an art school in Leeds was like a destiny- since then they then stayed together like an alliance for a long time. They worked and grew up together; they encouraged each other and perfected each other. Naum Gabo, their close partner, later upheld constructivism in 1920 that helped to thrive the whole world of art. Both Moore and Hepworth admired the concept, while the determining difference is that Hepworth stayed affirmative to nature and she remained pure whatever the directions she opted.

ネガティブという言葉は彼女の頭には些かも浮かばなかった。なぜなら、自然の自由な美しさに魅了され、その中に人間も溶け込むことの幸福を無心に追い求めていたから。自然賛歌を信じ続けたピュアな想いは、作品の円環、そして曲線の描く先へとつながっている。

Her mind is free from negativity because she is hooked to the beauty of nature, and she is fully embraced that she innocently pursues the happiness of it. Her pure and persisting conviction in nature is closely linked to the round shapes and curves in her works.

最初の結婚で息子をもうけ、その後画家のベン・ニコルソンと再婚、三つ子を産んだ。その影響か、作品は一人から母と子、寄り添う形、群像へと変化していく。しかし飛行機事故で息子を亡くし、傷心のままギリシャの旅へ。そこには創作欲に火を灯す風景や哲学、演劇が待ち受けていた。

She has a son in her first marriage. Later, she was remarried to Ben Nicholson with three more children. Under the influence of that her work transcended from single forms to two that leaning towards each other, or even groups. Unfortunately, her son passed away in an aircraft accident and she went to Greece to heal her heart. She then learnt about philosophy, sceneries illuminated by fire, and plays- all became motivations of her creation.

悲劇に見舞われながら、72歳で世を去るまでアーティストであり続けたヘップワース。20世紀に女性の立場で彫刻という険しい道を歩めたのは、ひとえに心の強さに他ならない。たとえ孤独だったとしてもそれを制作の糧とする、しなやかさをそなえた稀有な女性。

In despite of the tragedies and pains in her life, Hepworth stayed active and doing things as an artist until she died in the age of 72. She made through the hardship as a female sculptor in the 20th century all because of her strong mentality. Transforming even solitude to artistic creation, Hepworth was a truly graceful and exceptional woman artist.