Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Hepworth Sculpture Prize, A Child's Eye View


The Hepworth, Wakefield, is just a hop, skip, and a ride on the free city bus away from home and it is, and has been since it opened, The Boy and I's go to place if we're at a loose end and want to spend some time together.

The gallery is currently running the first Hepworth Prize for Sculpture, the exhibition is the biggest and most ambitious that  has been mounted in it's five year history and is part of The Hepworth's anniversary celebrations,

The Sculpture Prize exhibition - featuring the work of four shortlisted artists; Helen Marten, Steve Claydon, Phyllida Barlow and David Medalla - opened in October 2016. In November, a hugely distinguished judging panel awarded the £30,000 Sculpture Prize to Helen Marten, who then went on to win the prestigious, and sometimes controversial,Turner Prize.

But The Hepworth, as part of the Sculpture Prize, is also running a People's Choice Award and you can still vote for your favourite of the shortlisted artists before the votes are counted, and the People's Choice winner announced, at the end of the exhibition next month. You can either vote at the gallery, or online here.

The Hepworth Wakefield Helen Marten Sculpture
In the Helen Marten exhibition, Hepworth Gallery.

The work of  Sculpture Prize winner Helen Marten
The Boy is not a award winning designer or a top international art critic like members of the Sculpture Prize's official judging panel, but as a frequent visitor to The Hepworth since he was five years old, he has his own opinions on the work he's sees and really enjoyed touring the exhibit and picking who to cast his own People's Choice vote for.


So here is a ten year old's perspective on the Hepworth Sculpture Prize, and his favourite pieces in the exhibition.

The first is David Medalla's ever moving Bubble Machine which is compelling and deeply mesmerising. According to The Boy it looks like something that wouldn't be out of  place in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory and he immediately wanted one of his own.


The Boy, mesmerised

But he was equally impressed with Phyllida Barlow's monumental work Scree, a phenomenal, room-filling sculpture that invites exploration and awe.



Next to pique his interest was part of Steve Claydon's section of the exhibition, a work that, if you listened carefully enough, hums at you.


The work of the winning artist Helen Marten wasn't as popular with The Boy as with the distinguished panel of judges but then again, he is only ten. He might have liked this piece (below) but it was hard to tell, he was giggling so much.


So sorry Helen, The Boy has chosen to cast his vote for another of the shortlisted artists but we'll have to wait until the exhibition closes on 19 February to find out who that People's Choice winner is.

Who would you vote for? 

Hepworth Sculpture Prize
Exploring the exhibition

Yorkshire Tots


  1. I love this! What a fun way to get kids involved in art. We haven't been to The Hepworth in ages but it was such a nice visit last time we went. Must get back soon! #YorkshireFamily

  2. Trust the little boy more than 'emperors new clothes' judges though I am 68. I would have put Phyllida Barlow no1 and Helen Marten's work in the bin. Great idea to bring the gallery to a younger more intuitive audience.


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