Research Projects & Networks

Sculpting Lives
Project Description

Sculpting Lives is a podcast series written and presented by Jo Baring (Director of the Ingram Collection of Modern British & Contemporary Art) and Sarah Victoria Turner (Deputy Director at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London).

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Dame Elisabeth Frink, Kim Lim, Phyllida Barlow and Rana Begum – some of the most globally well-known British artists are women sculptors. Conversely, the profession and practice of sculpture was seen by many throughout the twentieth century (and before) to be very much a man’s world. Often using heavy and hard materials, sculpture was not typically viewed as suitable for women artists. Series one explores the lives and careers of these five women who worked (and are still working) against these preconceptions, forging successful careers and contributing in groundbreaking ways to the histories of sculpture and art. Series two features episodes on Dora Gordine, Gertrude Hermes, Veronica Ryan, Alison Wilding and Cathie Pilkington. At a moment when public sculpture is the subject of contentious debate, the final episode of the second series focuses on questions of gender, public sculpture and display, and explores women’s representation – both as subjects and artists – in our public spaces and exhibitions.

Each episode is recorded in places that are significant for the women sculptors featured – their studios, as well as galleries and public places where their work is on display – and includes new interviews with curators, friends, family and the artists themselves, creating intimate soundscapes of their private and public worlds.

The @SculptingLives Instagram feed contains more information about the podcast and the artists and artworks featured in it.

Sculpting Lives Contributors

  • Eleanor Clayton, Curator, Hepworth Wakefield
  • Sara Matson, Curator, Tate St Ives
  • Stephen Feeke, Curator and Writer
  • Clare Lilley, Director of Programme, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
  • Simon Martin, Director, Pallant House Gallery
  • Annette Ratuszniak, Curator, Elisabeth Frink Estate
  • Sam Johnston, Director, Dorset History Centre
  • Alex Turnbull, son of Kim Lim
  • Hammad Nasar, Senior Research Fellow, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and curator of British Art Show 9
  • Bianca Chu, Deputy Director, Sotheby’s S2 (when recording Series One), Kim Lim Estate
  • Phyllida Barlow, R.A.
  • Edith Devaney, Curator, Royal Academy
  • Cathie Pilkington, R.A.
  • Chloe Hughes, Foundry Manager, A.B. Foundry
  • Rana Begum, R.A.
  • Anne Barlow, Director, Tate St Ives
  • Helen Bonett, Curator, Writer, Lecturer
  • Erika Tan, Artist, Curator and Lecturer, Central St. Martins, UAL
  • Jonathan Black, Senior Research Fellow, Kingston University
  • Fran Lloyd, Kingston University
  • Anne Desmet, R.A.
  • Jane Hill, author The Sculpture of Gertrude Hermes
  • Annette Wickham, Curator of Works on Paper, Royal Academy of Arts
  • Madeleine Bessborough, New Art Centre
  • Jessica Smith, New Art Centre
  • Jo Applin, Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Alison Wilding, R.A.
  • Veronica Ryan, Artist
  • Abi Shapiro, Assistant Curator, The Hepworth
  • Cathie Pilkington, R.A.
  • Anna McNay, Writer and Curator
  • Dorothy Price, Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Hettie Judah, Art Critic and Writer
  • Kate MacMillan, King’s College, London
  • Bee Rowlatt, Chair of the Mary on the Green campaign
  • Natalie Rudd, PhD Researcher and formerly Senior Curator, Arts Council Collection
  • Bianca Chu, Kim Lim Estate
  • Holly Hendry, Artist
  • Katie Cuddon, Artist
  • Permindar Kaur, Artist
  • Rosanne Robertson, Artist

Written and hosted by: Jo Baring and Sarah Turner

Produced by: Clare Lynch

Research by: Isabelle Mooney (Series One) & Chloe Nahum (Series Two)

Music by: Pauline Oliveros, [Silence]

Visual identity by: Vanessa Fowler-Kendall

This podcast has been made possible through support from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

We are also extremely grateful to Art UK and National Life Stories: Artists' Lives (British Library).