Henry Moore Prints at Winchester Discovery Centre!
I popped in to see this exhibition at the weekend and was really taken with it. I’d like to share my impressions and I hope that you might be encouraged to visit the exhibition yourselves. Since my days working in Leeds City Art Library, which was attached to the Henry Moore Sculpture Gallery, and where I was lucky enough to meet the man himself, I have admired Henry Moore’s work. I have always tried to get to his exhibitions and to see his works displayed in public open spaces, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park being one favourite of mine. The exhibition at Winchester Gallery contains some 27 of Henry Moore’s lithographs, which he began making after the First World War and continued until the end of his life. He saw this as providing a way for the viewer to better understand his 3D forms and staggeringly, he produced some 700 prints during his lifetime. He is arguably one of the greatest sculptors of the twentieth century. There is certainly no question as to his passion and when I met him, when he was visiting the Sculpture Gallery for consultations, this came across very clearly.
As you enter the Gallery from the left hand entrance you come to a print entitled ‘Petals’ – this is not, in style, identifiable as a typical Henry Moore, but is nonetheless very pleasing upon the eye, being a lovely blend of muted pastel shades. It is unusual for a sculptor to use colour, but you’ll notice Henry Moore likes to add a little here and there. Another one I liked was one called ‘Trees’. This natural form in nature is one Henry Moore loved, as he could see the trunk and branches naturally having a connection with the human body. Some of the other prints in the exhibition are entitled ‘Ideas for metal sculpture’ and one can see how his larger 3D sculptures have possibly taken form from these. I was drawn to a print called ‘Woman with Book’– 1976 and perhaps for obvious reasons!
I do like the way Henry Moore portrays women- the faces in these particular prints are pretty and noticeably soft and gentle looking. Take a look at ‘Creole Lady’ -1973 and you’ll see what I mean. ‘Lullaby 193′ was clearly produced in response to W H Auden’s poem of the same name. Henry Moore conceived many of his lithographs to accompany the works of selected poets like Auden and Gerald Durrell, but we know he was also a personal friend and admirer of Auden. I took the time to read Auden’s poem as well as study Henry Moore’s print and was very touched by the sensitivity of both…nothing to do with the fact Valentine’s Day might have been on my mind! Both poem and print depict a lover asking his lover, to quote, ‘lay your sleeping head , my love, Human as my faithless arm’….
If you go along to this exhibition and feel inspired to do further research, Winchester School of Art Library has a large section of books and some DVD’s on Henry Moore and these you will find at 709.2 MOR. You might also like to look in the British Sculpture section which is at 730.942. There are also a number of broadcasts on BoB National such as ‘Henry Moore: Carving A Reputation’ which you can access with your University login details at http://bobnational.net/ Judy Russell, February 2015.