Installation view: A Living Collection. January 2023. The Hepworth Wakefield

A Living Collection

The Hepworth Wakefield

A Living Collection showcases new acquisitions to the collection from recent years, from Surrealist sculpture to contemporary assemblage, revealing a conversation across time and media around the human body and its interactions in the world. Since Wakefield’s art collection was established in 1923, it has had an aim of nurturing an understanding of contemporary art and its relation to modern life.

The Hepworth Wakefield continues to develop the collection with this aim, showing how art can help us understand and explore current lived experiences.  The brand new works that went on on display at The Hepworth Wakefield in January address contemporary issues, shift historic imbalances in the collection or enrich narratives explored by artists in shifting contexts.

Republic, 2020, a large fresco painting by Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, was provoked by a question posed to the artist duo on a panel asking them what a woman-dominated public culture would look like. The duo rejected a utopian idea of a female dominated non-violent and inherently caring society and painted RepublicRepublic depicts factitious women in conflict dominating a pavement space. The duo was influenced by the melodrama and public setting of Andrea Mantegna’s Flagellation of Christ, with the Pavement (c.1475–80) a painting which depicts an all-male scene of Christ being whipped by Romans. Quinlan and Hasting invert Mantegna’s scene in Republic, instead, highlighting real-world issues that define women’s space and culture: infighting, racism, homophobia and transphobia. Not only is it an inversion of Mantegna’s etching, men to women, but also of the ways women are traditionally conditioned to occupy public space – to be small, quiet and afraid. Rosie Hastings and Hannah Quinlan, Republic, 2020 is gifted by Russell Tovey through the Contemporary Art Society, 2022/23.

Elliot, 2020, an oil painting by Yorkshire-born artist Sarah Ball features many signifiers of Ball’s work like soft brushstrokes, muted colour palettes and a solid background that works in contrast to the piercing glaze of her subject. Ball’s subjects are anonymised often plucked from newspaper cuttings, archival photographs, and social media. The resulting canvases are both intimate and confrontational, thematising issues of identity, gender, and aesthetics.

Stefanie Heinze lives and works in Berlin. Heinze has gained recognition for her brightly coloured and imaginative compositions, which draw on the legacies of Surrealism. From disembodied body parts and everyday objects, to animal-like figures, her subjects melt into colourful, fantastical backgrounds to create vivid visual worlds. Parasol (STICK THER F BOI) was made in 2021 during lockdown in Germany. Heinze drew on her experience of restricted movement and limited social interaction, using the surface of the canvas as a space for the imagination – a substitute for closeness and touch.

Friday 20 January 2023 - Wednesday 31 January 2024

The Hepworth Wakefield
Gallery Walk
West Yorkshire

Visit site

£12 / £10 / FREE for Members, Wakefield District residents and under 18s.

Join our mailing list

Back to top