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Our story > Hepworth’s Progeny: Generations of Women in Sculpture in Britain — Lives, Work, Careers and Social Change 1960-2021 >

Hepworth’s Progeny: Survey

Hepworth’s Progeny is a research project hosted by The Hepworth Wakefield in partnership with art historian Griselda Pollock and sculptor Lorna Green. The project revisits original research into women’s sculptural practices undertaken in the late 1980s by Green, The Position and Attitudes of Contemporary Women Sculptors in Britain 1987-9 , as the basis of a present day comparative study.

The ambition of our current feminist research project, which acknowledges the intersections of age, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, neurodiversity and other factors, is to deepen understanding of women’s lives, careers and experiences within the expanded field of sculptural practice, and changes in gender equality and issues of identity, between 1989 and 2022. Have generations of women been affected differently over the past 30 years? What possibilities does our present moment offer artist-women? Equally, are there persistent barriers and inequalities?

The study will lead to:

  • A public exhibition, conference and events programme at The Hepworth Wakefield in 2022/23
  • Published articles and recommendations
  • An archive of women’s sculptural practices, held at The Hepworth Wakefield for future research opportunities
  • A women’s sculpture network established by The Hepworth Wakefield

If you are a woman with a sculptural practice we would love to hear from you. Our questions below are prompts for thinking, and we invite you to share your thoughts in your own words, writing as little or as much as you would like to, even disagreeing with them if you so wish.

All your information will be held in accordance with the data protection policies of The Hepworth Wakefield, which can be viewed here.

We are committed to making the survey accessible to all and supporting those facing barriers to responding. Please do not hesitate to contact project researchers Dr Anna Frances Douglas (annadouglas@hepworthwakefield.org) or Dr Kerry Harker (kerryharker@hepworthwakefield.org) if you require any additional support to enable you to share your thoughts with us.

The form is also available to download as a Word document if you prefer to complete it offline and post back to us at the address provided or email it to us (see above).

Survey closing date: Monday 28 February 2022

Thank you for contributing to our research.


Hepworth's Progeny: Survey

  • *This data will help us make this a comparative study of different generations of women working in sculpture.
  • Please use the space below to share with us any significant background information about your sense of self and creativity, for example your family background, place of birth, formative cultural encounters or creative influences.
  • We are interested in what sculpture, or your idea of an expanded sculptural practice, means to you. Please tell us how you refer to yourself and why - as an artist, a sculptor or something different? How did you begin to work sculpturally? Why do you choose the materials you work with and how do you obtain them? Do you have access to facilities that specifically support the making of sculpture?
  • We are interested in the different forms of education women receive. Did you receive a formal or informal art education - and was this sculpture-specific? Please provide the dates of your significant studies and where and when they took place. Were you taught by women lecturers and/or technicians? What challenges did you encounter during your art education? What opportunities did it offer?
  • We are interested in the twin concepts of a ‘career’ and an ‘artistic practice’ and how relevant these terms are for you. Do you have a sense of a career as an artist? And if so, what systems, spaces, people or paid work have made this possible, or what barriers have there been? Maybe, the idea of an ongoing artistic practice is more significant? If so, where do you feel that you and your artistic practice belong?
  • We are interested in how you sustain your artistic practice day-to-day. You may want to tell us about how you negotiate life commitments that potentially compete with your practice. Do you make use of formal or informal support systems – networks, groups, spaces or other resources? What barriers to practice do you encounter (personal, professional, etc.) and what strategies do you employ in attempting to negotiate them?
  • Since the original survey in 1989, women’s rights, gender equality and identity politics has evolved. We are interested to know if and how feminism, or other identity based theorisations and activist struggles assist or impact on your life, and your artistic practice - and if so how? Maybe your art is informed by other concerns - we would like to hear about these also.
  • Thinking about how women evolve as artists, how important has it been to your ambition and sense of being a sculptor/artist to know of other artist-women, both historically and as contemporary practitioners? You may wish to share with us particular artists/sculptors that have been significant, or describe any encounters with art, influential moments in awareness of histories of women’s practices, and contemporary support structures. Whatever is relevant to you.