Whilst living and working in St Ives, Cornwall, Barbara Hepworth would have been keenly aware of the tides. Titling this piece High tide
, she completely floods the paper with orange, printing ‘brushstroke’ like swirls emanating from a circle at the centre, rippling out to the edges of the work. In her prints, Hepworth’s circles sometimes represent the Moon, as may be the case in this piece. High tides are caused by the moon’s gravitational pull on the Earth, with the highest tides appearing when the Moon is at its fullest, like the motif Hepworth places at the print’s centre.
Date of work
Original: Screenprint on paper 55.5 x 76.2 cm Tate. Presented by Rose and Chris Prater through the Institute of Contemporary Prints 1975 © Bowness
Barbara Hepworth (1903 – 1975) was a pioneer of abstract sculpture. Born in Wakefield, although her distinctive style was abstract, the forms and shapes in her work were based on observation of the natural world such as the Cornish landscape and motherhood. During the Second World War she moved to St Ives, where she became especially active in the Modernist artist movement. She remained strongly linked with St Ives until her death. Following her wish to establish her home and studio as a museum of her work, Trewyn Studio and much of the artist’s work remaining there was given to the nation and placed in the care of the Tate Gallery in 1980, and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden established.