Dame Barbara Hepworth
Figure (Nyanga) 1959–60

Artwork details

Artist
Title
Figure (Nyanga)
Date 1959–60
Medium Elm on plywood base
Dimensions Object: 908 x 571 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by the artist 1969
Reference
T01112

Display caption

Hepworth said that when she was carving this sculpture she was preoccupied with ‘thoughts about Africa and the United Nations’, explaining that her concern for human suffering and dignity had on occasion lent a certain poignancy to her works. It was linked more specifically to her sense of sorrow after the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, when South African police opened fire on demonstrators, killing 69 people. The sculpture appears to represent a human head, heroic in stature and proportion, and emblematic of the universality of suffering.

November 2015

About this artwork