More about Pelagos

  • All
  • Info
  • Shop


Dame Barbara Hepworth carves out a piece of the sea

It is understandable that someone would think it looks like a) a poorly executed guitar b) a dysfunctional bread-bowl or c) a strange sort of hat. The answer is of course none of the above because Hepworth wasn’t about making literal objects. She was all about feels and vibes and this piece in particular was inspired by her home in Cornwall, England and modeled after the motion of a wave or the roll of a hill. Hepworth stated that, “[she] rarely [drew] what [she] saw. [She] [drew] what [she] felt in [her] body” and Pelagos (literally translating to ‘sea’ in Greek) is exhibit A of just that with its curvy walls and uterus-y shape.

Carved from a piece of elm wood, Pelagos’ two arms are held together by strings that Hepworth claimed “were the tension [she] felt between [herself] and the sea, the wind or the hills.” You could probably even hear the ocean if you put your ear close enough to the sculpture but this will never be proven because security would flip their lid and probably take you straight to the psych ward for trying to hear the ocean in a priceless work of art. But if any of you do try, please let us know what happened so we can update this article! 

This is among Hepworth’s most famous works, though she since has said that it doesn’t mean anything to her anymore proposing that the inside color be switched from blue to white. It’s hard to feel the same when looking at the piece though, because what sort of brilliant  mind looks at a slab of wood and sees this? Definitely not me…unfortunately.