The Hepworth Wakefield joins Bloomberg Connects
27 May 2021
The Hepworth Wakefield is delighted to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies and join an incredible community of international museums and galleries on the Bloomberg Connects app. The launch of The Hepworth Wakefield guide on the app coincides with the gallery's major 10th anniversary exhibition Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life.
Olivia Colling, Director of Communications & Development at The Hepworth Wakefield said: ‘We are really excited to work with Bloomberg and benefit from their extensive digital innovations. Not only will it help more people around the world discover The Hepworth Wakefield, it will also allow us to bring more content to those who know us well. For the first time we are able to offer a free audio guide to enhance our visitors’ experience of our major exhibition, using Barbara Hepworth’s own words and writings read by the talented author and admirer of Hepworth’s work, Olivia Laing.’
On the app, users can discover more about the striking architecture of The Hepworth Wakefield; explore highlights from Wakefield’s art collection; look through the seasons at the new garden, designed by Tom Stuart-Smith; and be inspired to create their own art with family activity films devised by local artists.
The app also provides a gallery by gallery virtual tour of the new Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life exhibition – the largest exhibition of Hepworth’s work since the 1970s – which takes you from Hepworth’s early days growing up in Yorkshire, through to her varied personal interests, major public commissions and ongoing legacy.
An accompanying audio guide narrated and produced by Yorkshire actor Leah Whitaker, with Barbara Hepworth’s own words and writings read by acclaimed author, Olivia Laing, provides further insights into the artist’s life and work.
Of the experience, Olivia Laing said: ‘It was an immense pleasure to play Barbara Hepworth for the audio guide and intensely inspiring reading from her letters and diaries.’
Olivia Laing is the author of three acclaimed works of non-fiction, To the River, The Trip to Echo Spring and The Lonely City, which has been translated into eighteen languages and sold over 100,000 copies worldwide. Her first novel, Crudo, was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller and won the 2019 James Tait Memorial Prize. She’s a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2018 was awarded a Windham-Campbell Prize for non-fiction.
Laing writes on art and culture for many publications, including the Guardian, New York Times and frieze. Her collected writing on art, Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency, was published in 2020. Laing’s new book, Everybody: A Book About Freedom is out now.
Leah Whitaker is an actress and voiceover artist. Originally from Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, she trained at RADA and has worked extensively in Theatre and TV. Stage includes roles for the RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe, Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre, Menier Chocolate Factory and Headlong, and screen includes Whitechapel, Casualty, Father Brown, Midsomer Murders, Holby City and EastEnders.