The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture Shortlist: Phyllida Barlow

Phyllida Barlow

Who? Born in Newcastle in 1944, Barlow began teaching at the Slade School of Fine Art in the 1960s. She stayed there for almost half a century, teaching the likes of Turner Prize winners Rachel Whiteread and Martin Creed, but in 2009 she retired from teaching in order to focus on her own work.

Trained at: Chelsea College of Art (1960-63); Slade School of Fine Art (1963-66).

The work: Barlow creates large-scale works that are often made from inexpensive material, like cardboard, plywood and polystyrene, crudely painted in industrial or synthetic colours.

In her own words: “Just because you go to art school doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be famous overnight, and what about all the other qualities which help people to keep going – putting up with disappointment, for instance? If all you’ve ever had in your life is praise, praise, praise, you’re probably not a particularly healthy individual.”

What others say: “Many great women artists have suffered from the shadow effect, they have been out of public view until their 60s and 70s… How great that we have discovered Barlow now.” - Frances Morris, Director, Tate Modern 

Text: Sarah Freeman, Yorkshire Post