I understand
arrow drop search cross

Art & artists > Our collection > The Hepworth Family Gift >

Barbara Hepworth

Hollow Form with Inner Form

1903 – 1975

Hollow Form with Inner Form
Plaster on a wooden base
125.8 × 70.5 × 74.5 cm
Presented by the artist’s daughters, Rachel Kidd and Sarah Bowness, through the Trustees of the Barbara Hepworth Estate and the Art Fund


When Hepworth began working in bronze she explored a number of different processes, including the casting of existing carvings. Hollow Form with Inner Form is a composite work assembled from two distinct carved sculptures, the teak Single Form contained by the outer, elm, Hollow Form, both 1963–8. The theme of a sheltering form with dependent smaller form – with resonances of the mother and child motif – is recurrent in Hepworth’s work and originated in the 1930s. The inside of Hollow Form had to be extensively hollowed out due to dry rot, giving it the thin, shell-like form to contain the smaller form. The use of inherent traits within organic materials is also consistent with Hepworth’s earlier work.

The two combined sculptures were then cast twice in plaster. One cast was used to make the bronze edition of Hollow Form with Inner Form, and the other pristine cast was returned to Hepworth’s studio. Of the two wooden works, Hollow Form was not exhibited and subsequently destroyed, perhaps suggesting that Hepworth did not consider it a completed work in its own right, or that the rot damage was problematic. Single Form was also unexhibited but was later sold, and cast on its own from the same plaster as Hollow Form with Inner Form to create a bronze edition, Single Form (Aloe) 1971.