Long time coming, Hepworth Wakefield
This weekend the launch is finally upon us, officially between Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 May. The gallery building is a design by David Chipperfield Architects, who won the RIBA competition to design it in 2003. ‘The largest purpose-built exhibition space outside London’ has already met with high acclaim, with strikingly well lit spaces it’s a building set right on the waterfront of the Northern town.
Named after the internationally renowned Wakefield-born sculptor Barbara Hepworth, the gallery will exhibit some of its extensive B.Hepworth collection, along with a new major exhibition by Eva Rothschild. There will be music, tours, talks and futher fringe events on-site and in the centre of Wakefield.
Just across from HW, a 19th century Grade-II listed watermill is the site of new giant scale drawings by Sheffield artist James Pyman.
Even a beer has been brewed to mark the occasion. ‘Inspiration’ can be drunk at ‘The Hop’ in Wakey and is a prime example of the boundless preparations. HW was intended to respect Wakefield’s past and present, making the most of the landscape, intending to attract an extensive audience because of the high quality programme of historical and contemporary art.
If you plan to go this weekend, you need to book a slot to ensure 45mins inside the gallery. This is not an ideal time to see the Eva Rothschild exhibition and the massive collection of 20th century art, but still a fine time to get the gist of this epic new gallery in the North, amidst the revelry and most likely the overindulgence of free ‘Inspiration’…
Jane Faram, Arts Editor