Back to a Land


Henry Moore Bronze sculpture

Opening tomorrow at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park – 7th March, 2015 –  is an exhibition called Back to a Land – this is work by Henry Moore with a focus on showing his drawings, prints and sculpture which were inspired by his love of landscape and the rocks and earth that make it.  His large pieces will be displayed in the open air with the rolling acres of the Park as backdrop.   The exhibition also presents an opportunity to explore the man behind the practice with a carefully selected display of personal artifacts, notes, sketches and photographs, telling a bit of the story of what Henry Moore thought and felt about the land.

Henry Moore's tools

Also on show are his tools – which really fascinate me.  They’re just typical of stone carver’s tools and similar to the ones I use – but I’m drawn to them and find myself staring at the hammer.  I’m looking at how it is worn, and therefore how he hit the chisel – you can almost tell as much from these as you can from the marks they left on his sculpture.

Stone carving tools used by Henry Moore

What a perfect venue for this exhibition – Henry Moore was one of the founding members of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and  he was born, and grew up in Yorkshire – it is the land that filled his formative years and is expressed so richly in his sculpture.

Looking forward to my visit.





All images courtesy BBC Look North


  1. Comment by Ellen Abbott:

    I like looking at other people’s tools too. And I’ll often ask an artist how they made a particular piece. some are very forthcoming, some tend to think their process is what sets them apart and will not be very open. My interest, my curiosity, is in the process of the art, not in trying to duplicate what another artist has done. it always disappoints me when an artist tries to hide his or her process.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      I know what you mean Ellen, it can be frustrating when you feel this restraint. Some I speak to simply don’t seem to have a love of material, or tools (at least not in the way I do) and therefore just don’t talk about them or process. I think for some it takes time to find their voice and a way of describing and expressing why and what they do. Some are just secretive, and as you suggest perhaps fearful of copying. I do remember at school wrapping my arm and hands round my paperwork and leaning in over it, to cover it, when I felt someone was looking over my shoulder to see what I was doing. I suppose that was fear, of criticism and comments, and to avoid embarrassment, and just plain selfish – did you do that ever?

  2. Comment by countrysidetales:

    I should imagine you are eagerly anticipating your visit. I was fascinated by what you said about the tools. They look like miniature works of art themselves. My grandfather had a big box of old tools I used to love looking through, all chipped and worn or rubbed smooth wooden handles and ancient bits of grey metal. I’m not sure what happened to them.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Yes, anticipating like anything. I love treats of this sort – actually we’re really lucky in Yorkshire having the Sculpture Park, Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, and The Hepworth Wakefield. Tools are such beautiful objects, and not least beautiful because of the work they do – they really are just an extension of your arm. Do you remember the sound as you were looking through your Grandfather’s tools – especially wonderful are worn wooden handles I think. It would be lovely if you found them again.

  3. Comment by Amanda:

    We have not been here for a few years now, and after seeing a piece on the news and my husband liking what was on show, I feel a trip coming on..
    Amanda xx

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Nor me, but I’m not going to miss this one! What was the last exhibition you saw there? I think my most memorable one was the stone sculpture from Zimbabwe, oh and Peter Randall-Page was good too – actually now I’m really thinking about it, there are lots! Hope you have a great time when you go.

  4. Comment by Annie:

    My facsimile of Moore’s Sheep Sketchbook is one of my favourite things.

    I think the tools of any craft can be as interesting as the objects made with them, but that’s particularly true where the process of making has marked them.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      What a beautiful sketchbook to have – I have one of his sheep drawings on mug which I love. Beautifully put about tools – it is such a pleasure too to watch someone working with skill, acquired often over many years, with tools. They seem to do it with such ease, rhythm and flow, and the tools are bright and just part of them – it is mesmerising.

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