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If Not Now, When? Generations of Women in Sculpture in Britain, 1960 – 2022

Friday 31 March - Sunday 15 October, 2023

If Not Now, When? opens at The Hepworth Wakefield this March o explore the lives of women sculptors in Britain during a significant period of social and artistic change.

he exhibition is the culmination of the feminist research project, Hepworth’s Progeny: Generation of Women in Sculpture in Britain, 1960 – 2022 and will show work by the women artists who responded to either the original 1988 or revised 2022 survey.

The 2022 research project was hosted by The Hepworth Wakefield in collaboration with art historian, Professor Griselda Pollock and sculptor Lorna Green, working with Yorkshire based curatorial researchers Dr Anna Frances Douglas and Dr Kerry Harker.

The project revisited research into women artists working in the expanding field of sculpture undertaken in the late 1980s by Lorna Green as the basis for a present-day comparative study. Green undertook the original research as a postgraduate student at the University of Leeds, supervised by Griselda Pollock.

Recruiting a new cohort of contemporary sculptors working in Britain today, the 2022 research project acknowledges the entanglements of age, class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality, neurosensory diversity and other factors. The research also touches on changes to funding accessibility, display and the critical reception of art by women.

A small number of the original survey responses will be on display, narrating an intergenerational story of women artists.

Art installation by Helen Chadwick called In the Kitchen (Washing Machine),

Helen Chadwick, In the Kitchen (Washing Machine), 1977. Courtesy of Richard Saltoun Gallery London / Rome. © The Estate of Helen Chadwick.

The exhibition features around 30 works by sculptors such as Rose Garrard, Glenys Barton, Permindar Kaur, Katrina Cowling, Kim Lim, Lilian Lijn, Veronica Ryan, Shelagh Wakeley and more. Some of the first cohort of survey responses were submitted by then graduates – Phyllida Barlow, Helen Chadwick and Cornelia Parker – who are now recognisable names in the art world.

Find out more on The Hepworth Wakefield website.

About the research and exhibition

The research was funded by a donation from the Holberg Prize awarded to Professor Griselda Pollock in 2020 for her work in feminist studies in the visual arts and art history, and to foster extended research in this field.

The project was guided by an Advisory Board of Griselda Pollock, Lorna Green, The Hepworth Wakefield’s curator Eleanor Clayton, sculptors Sokari Douglas Camp and Jill McKnight, and independent art historian Dr. Alice Correia.

The exhibition is supported by Professor Griselda Pollock, Henry More Foundation and The Porthmeor Fund.


The Hepworth Wakefield
Gallery Walk

Full details, including opening times, can be found on The Hepworth Wakefield website.

Feature image

Pamela Storey, Bird on a Wire, 2017. Photo: Pamela Storey.