The winner of the Hepworth Prize for Sculpture People's Choice Award

Phyllida Barlow, Screestage, 2016

The winner of The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture People’s Choice Award is....Phyllida Barlow.

Since the exhibition opened on 20 October 2016, visitors have been voting for their winner in the galleries and online. 43.5% of the vote went to Barlow, which attracted responses from around the world including Australia, Belgium, France, Japan, Singapore, the UAE and USA.

For her show at The Hepworth Wakefield, Barlow made several new works that recall industrial ‘To Let’ signs. They are installed around the immense ‘screestage’ (2013), shown in the UK for the first time.

Visitor comments about Barlow’s work included:

“Fantastic sculpture evoking feelings of mystery and intrigue when exploring the cavernous interiors.”

“Phyllida's walk through sculpture is engaging. Also it is refreshingly not pretentious.”

“Phyllida's is a powerful awakening. To walk through it, feel it, touch it. A fabulous work of art.”

Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield, said: “Our aim with The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture was to demystify and encourage public debate about contemporary sculpture, the art form for which we have become synonymous. We wanted to offer our visitors the opportunity to vote for their own winner and share their opinions about experiencing art. Barlow is a thoroughly deserving winner and it is wonderful that her installation has resonated so much with our visitors.”

Phyllida Barlow was born in 1944 in Newcastle. She creates monumental sculptures from simple materials, frequently using throwaway or domestic items including cardboard, fabric, plaster, plywood, paint and plastic. She is influenced by everyday life and a fascination for physically experiencing and handling materials. She cuts, covers, folds, breaks and layers to create tactile works. Her sculptures often interrupt or invade space.

Barlow has been an influential art professor at the Slade School of Fine Art. She has taught Martin Creed, Angela de la Cruz, Douglas Gordon, Eva Rothschild and Rachel Whiteread. Barlow became a Royal Academician in 2011 and will represent Britain at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. 

Read more about The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture

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