Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Posted by Sarah Pellew
Until a short time ago I knew nothing about Henry Moore. I had heard of him and thought vaguely of big bulky sculptires when he came into my head... but nothing else. A friend suggested we take the children to visit the Henry Moore Foundation at Perry Green, spending the day and having a picnic in the grounds... so we did.
I cannot recommend the Foundation enough. Booking our tickets on-line was a dream and the personal and friendly service afforded us by the staff there was second to none. The Foundation itself is based around Henry Moore's home in the beautiful hamlet of Perry Green. To reach it involves winding your way down country lanes, past thatched cottages and ancient pubs, village greens and woodland.
Once there we opted to walk around the grounds - there are 70 acres - sprinkled with magnificent sculptures. They are breath taking and all of us were thrilled by them. I just wanted to touch them, walk around them and drink in their grandeur. My favourites were the vertebrae - sparkling in the summer sun - and the loops... all higher by far than us and monumental in their structure.
The archway below rose out of a wild flower meadow like a pre-historic creature. Henry Moore took his inspiration from many things, but mainly from natural forms - fossils, bones,interesting stones, skulls. He sketched them and worked them up from small maquettes ( models) in stages to the massive pieces on exhibition in the grounds of the Foundation.
The Foundation at Perry Green is a stunning place. You can tour around Moore's restored home and it is as if he might walk back into the room at any moment. His cardigan hangs on the back of his chair and the smell of freshly brewed coffee hangs in the air. He collected art as well as creating and in his sitting room hangs a Renoir, in his kitchen a Picasso!
I am desperate to go back to visit more thoroughly. I did not have time to see all the workshops on this visit. There are studios and galleries as well as exhibitions of textiles and sculpture. It is a wonderful place and if you find yourself down Hertfordshire way you could do worse than plan a day here!To find a Henry Moore near you, click on this link and you will find a map of the world. Click on your country to find places where his work is exhibited.
Let me know how you get on!!