Leeds Welcome | Mapping the Henry Moore Studio at Dean Clough

Mapping the Henry Moore Studio at Dean Clough

The Henry Moore Studio ran a programme of residencies and exhibitions at Dean Clough for over a decade, counting among them many prominent British sculptors. This Symposium explores its legacy. The Henry Moore Studio (HMS) was established in 1989 as the principal arena for the work of the Henry Moore Foundation with contemporary artists. Occupying the ground floor of a 19th century mill building at Dean Clough, Halifax, it was also the first discrete manifestation of the Foundation in Yorkshire. Over the following years, the Studio ran a programme of residencies for international artists, amongst whom were rising and established British sculptors Christine Borland, Anthony Caro, Tony Cragg, Grenville Davey, Bruce Mclean, John Newling, Glen Onwin, Andrew Sabin and Alison Wilding, and a pantheon of European and American stars, including Christian Boltanski, Jannis Kounellis, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Lawrence Weiner, all of whom spent time living and working in Halifax. The programme aimed to provide resident artists with space, time and physical resources, as well as technical and moral support, to help them realise ambitious projects, in which the site often played a key role. Whilst the Studio was directed by Robert Hopper (Henry Moore Sculpture Trust, Leeds), it was run by a team of locally-based artists headed by Paul Bradley, who facilitated the projects on the ground, often drawing on a network of local suppliers and fabricators. As a ‘live’ production project, it was envisaged as a counter point to the planned research and exhibition venue in Leeds (realised as the Henry Moore Institute in 1993) and as a core of energy that would catalyse West Yorkshire as a centre of international sculptural activity. However, it closed in 2000 leaving few visible traces behind it. The symposium is organised by Sophie Raikes, as part of her collaborative doctoral study with the University of Huddersfield and the Henry Moore Institute. The form of the event is guided by the study, which uses oral histories as a research methodology. For the first time since the Studio closed, the symposium brings together curators, resident artists and artist facilitators who were involved directly with its operations. Creating a space for dialogue and discussion, it provides a unique opportunity for these participants to map the history of the place and explore it as an art community. The day is divided into three sessions, the first looking at the origins of the projects, the second at its art and social life and the third at its impacts on art practice. Each session involves pairs or groups of speakers, who will make short presentations and then engage in a chaired discussion with audience participation. The day concludes with a roundtable session in which speakers/chairs will make closing remarks and look to the future. Convened by Sophie Raikes (Henry Moore Institute / University of Huddersfield), with Barry Barker (writer and curator), Paul Bradley, Declan McGonagle (curator), Chris Sacker (artist), David Wilkinson (artist), Karen Watson (East Street Arts), Gabriel Gee (Franklin University, Switzerland), Christine Borland (artist), John Newling (artist) and Greville Worthington (curator). The symposium is followed by a Reception to celebrate the University of Huddersfield’s Collaborative Doctoral Award Programme across the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle.

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