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The relationship between this painting and the Périgord, a region of south-west France, is unclear. The image reflects the way Hepworth was influenced by both patterns of natural growth and the loose abstract painting of French Tachisme. While remaining non-representational, the painting may bring to mind the layered structure of a flower as it opens up. Her technique is unusual: black lines seem to have been made with a straw, or a similar tubular device, dipped in paint, while the gesso ground has been scratched with a five-toothed tool.

August 2004