The Hepworth Wakefield, 15 Sept 2016 – 1 May 2017
There’s something heartwarming about stepping into an art gallery and feeling at home. And while the huge vaulted ceilings and vast walls and windows of The Hepworth Wakefield‘s interior are unlikely to mirror your own residence, artist Anthea Hamilton has nevertheless managed to create a warm and welcoming interior, both familiar and fascinating to explore.
Giant woven circular rugs hang or lay emitting a fragrance reminiscent of rural fields on sunny days. There is a winding staircase that goes nowhere; instead, it serves as shelves for ornaments and picture frames. A grand piano sits waiting to be played with a giant felted envelope on top. A set of shelves are stacked with glass coasters that resemble ricecakes. Hamilton’s own work, influenced by design, fashion and pop culture, mingles comfortably with contemporary pieces by artists such as Ben Nicholson and Robert Mapplethorpe.
It is a space to enjoy on many levels – to absorb, to relax and to wander through, and to explore, be inspired by and find amusement in. It is a fitting reimagining of Kettle’s Yard, the Cambridge gallery known for its creative jumble of artworks against household furniture and objects. It pays homage rather than copies this irreplaceable space; Hamilton’s version has a unique atmosphere and energy all of its own.