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British sculptor Henry Moore once described the helmet motif as ‘a recording of things inside other things’. It was related to a major theme in his work: the mother and child. While some of Moore’s sculptures present this relationship as benign and nurturing, other works suggest something more mysterious and ambiguous. Although the protective wings gently envelop the interior void, the toothed visor and claw shape impart a sense of menace, even aggression. The scuffed patina implies some ancient, battle-scarred creature.

Henry Moore was born in Castleford, West Yorkshire in 1898 and died near Much Hadham, Hertfordshire in 1986.

August 2004