13 episodes

Sculpting Lives is a podcast series written and presented by Jo Baring (https://www.jobaring.com/about) (Director of the Ingram Collection of Modern British & Contemporary Art) and Sarah Victoria Turner (https://www.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/about/people/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 (https://www.instagram.com/sculptinglives) feed contains more information about the podcast and the artists and artworks featured in it.

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] (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Pauline_Oliveros/EASY_NOT_EASY_Festival_Oct_8_2010/Silence_1082010)

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 (https://artuk.org/) and National Life Stories: Artists' Lives (British Library) (https://www.bl.uk/projects/national-life-stories-artists-lives) .

Sculpting Lives Jo Baring and Sarah Turner

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 46 Ratings

Sculpting Lives is a podcast series written and presented by Jo Baring (https://www.jobaring.com/about) (Director of the Ingram Collection of Modern British & Contemporary Art) and Sarah Victoria Turner (https://www.paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk/about/people/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 (https://www.instagram.com/sculptinglives) feed contains more information about the podcast and the artists and artworks featured in it.

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] (https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Pauline_Oliveros/EASY_NOT_EASY_Festival_Oct_8_2010/Silence_1082010)

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 (https://artuk.org/) and National Life Stories: Artists' Lives (British Library) (https://www.bl.uk/projects/national-life-stories-artists-lives) .

    Sculpting Lives: Making Sculpture Public

    Sculpting Lives: Making Sculpture Public

    Over the last year public sculpture has become a hugely controversial issue. No longer passive objects that we simply walk past on our streets, public sculptures are part of a vigorous debate about contemporary society – who is commemorated and represented, and why. In this episode we delve further into this subject, interviewing the people associated with our most recent sculpture commissions of and by women, speaking to critics and researchers who are reflecting on the historical dimensions of this contemporary moment, and the contemporary sculptors who are making objects that occupy our streets and squares. Jo and Sarah also visit the Breaking the Mould Exhibition: Sculpture by Women Since 1945, organised by the Arts Council Collection, to talk to the curator and some of the artists involved in this landmark display. Together, they discuss the relevance of the public display and exhibition of the histories of women working with sculpture and broader questions about gender and representation in the art world and public sphere in 2021 .

    Contributors: 





    Hettie Judah, Art Critic and WriterNatalie Rudd, Senior Curator, Arts Council Collection
    Kate MacMillan, King’s College, London
    Bee Rowlatt, Chairwoman 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




    Digital image: Maggi Hambling, Statue for Mary Wollstonecraft, 2020. Photography: Sarah Victoria Turner

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Sculpting Lives: Cathie Pilkington

    Sculpting Lives: Cathie Pilkington

    Cathie Pilkington creates surreal, uncanny and ambivalent forms which are designed to unsettle and provoke. She employs a deliberate lack of hierarchy in her materials, using textiles and found objects alongside more traditional sculptural practices. Her work is often presented as an immersive installation, bringing themes of the domestic and everyday life into the language of sculpture.

    • 34 min
    Sculpting Lives: Alison Wilding

    Sculpting Lives: Alison Wilding

    Alison Wilding emerged into the art world in the 1980s making powerful sculptural statements out of a myriad of materials. Taking sculpture out of the museum and off the plinth, Wilding’s work is some of the most enigmatic and beguiling sculpture being produced, and in a candid interview in her studio we ask her about influences, materials and her experiences of art school.

    • 31 min
    Sculpting Lives: Gertrude Hermes

    Sculpting Lives: Gertrude Hermes

    Gertrude Hermes was one of the most experimental sculptors of the twentieth century. She also changed the way women artists were treated at the Royal Academy forever – a story which had been overlooked until recently.

    • 38 min
    Sculpting Lives: Veronica Ryan

    Sculpting Lives: Veronica Ryan

    In October 2021 Veronica Ryan unveiled her first permanent public sculpture, the Hackney Windrush Art Commission, which will be the first public artwork in the UK to honour the Windrush generation. In this episode we interview the artist as we walk with her through her exhibition Along a Spectrum at Spike Island, Bristol, recipient of the annual Freelands Award.

    • 36 min
    Sculpting Lives: Dora Gordine

    Sculpting Lives: Dora Gordine

    When Dora Gordine died in 1991 leaving her Studio House to the nation, many people, including museum curators, assumed she had been dead for many years. How did an artist described by art critic Jan Gordon in The Observer in 1938 as ‘very possibly becoming the finest woman sculptor in the world’ disappear from view?

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
46 Ratings

46 Ratings

areader9 ,

Expertly created

Love the atmosphere created through clever audio in this podcast. Great interviews with the artists and thoughtful reflections.

Jillaroo2020 ,

Tip Top !

Very well researched and presented . In depth and accessible . Great to hear from those surrounding the artists as well as the artists themselves . Thank you for the work !

rebeccanewnham ,

Women sculptors

Professional female artists researched in some depth and presented in a conversational and informative style by 2 professional art historians. Fascinating and relatable

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