This film is part of Free

Figures in a Landscape

A poetic portrait of sculptor Barbara Hepworth and the otherworldly Cornish landscapes which inspired her.

Documentary 1953 17 mins Silent


Delight in this rare footage of sculptor Barbara Hepworth at work in her garden, in the shadow of a prominent St Ives landmark, the 15th-century St Ia's Church. Narration from future Poet Laureate Cecil Day Lewis coupled with Priaulx Rainier's haunting score beautifully complement Hepworth's evocative art works, displayed in Cornwall's rugged coastlines and moorland.

Born in Wakefield, Hepworth moved to St Ives in 1949, where she lived and worked for the rest of her life. This film was the first to be commissioned by the British Film Institute’s Experimental Film Fund and was shown at the Edinburgh and Venice Film Festivals in 1953 - two years after Hepworth had designed sculptures for the Festival of Britain. In 1954, the Whitechapel Art Gallery presented a major retrospective of her work, a turning point in her career. She was made a Dame in 1965 and remains one of Britain's most celebrated sculptors. Tragically, she died during a fire at her St. Ives studio in 1975.