Vertical Form (St Ives) By Barbara Hepworth With Reflections

Vertical Form (St Ives), a bronze sculpture, with reflections
Vertical Form (St Ives) in the window of the Barbara Hepworth Museum

I do like this picture, although it has as many accidental elements as purposeful ones: layers, patterns, textural contrasts and red herrings.

Although I lined the sculpture up reasonably well with the r/h edge of the frame, the reflections make it look all catawampus. That doesn’t just allow me to use the word my sweetheart taught me (we would say ‘skew whiff’) but it also makes the picture seem more abstract. That seems fitting.

I tried cropping closer, but prefer the picture with the distractions in. They have an unsettling effect and they provide context for a bronze sculpture that has St Ives in its name.

I suspect the reflections of the houses humanise the bronze more than if the clean lines of a gallery were behind it. The sculpture seems to gaze out, watchfully or wistfully.

The colour combination is muted – natural stone, grey, plus a languid take on the traditional blue and white that symbolises Cornwall – helping the gleaming sculpture hold its own visually in the gallimaufry.

The ‘background’ in this case passes in front of the object and appears to lie behind it creating a mild optical illusion we hardly perceive at first glance.

My favourite parts of the photo are the reflections in the hollows of the bronze.

Find out more about Vertical Form (St Ives) on The Tate’s website.

Shared for the 2020PhotoChallenge. HeyJude’s instructions this week are:

Find something smooth and get up close.

31 Replies to “Vertical Form (St Ives) By Barbara Hepworth With Reflections”

  1. I suspect the maximum enjoyment of this image was in the making. You’ve clearly been on a joy ride and the Hepworth sculpture provides an ideal subject
    (Ps. I’ve just added catawampus to my vocabulary!)

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