Scheduled to mark the day in 1939 that Hepworth arrived in St. Ives, the Cornish town where she established her studio and lived for the remainder of her career, Google says the Doodle expresses its thanks to the artist for using her work to “help carve a path toward greater harmony within our society and environment”.
The animated image on the search engine’s home screen depicts Hepworth using the direct carving sculpting technique she was a major proponent of. The Google landing page also invites visitors to explore a visual biography of the artist, compiled by Google Arts and Culture.
Despite many of her most significant works having been crafted in St. Ives, Hepworth’s portfolio and enduring legacy can be found at her eponymous gallery in Wakefield, the city of her birth.
Discussing his admiration for the sculptor, Matt Cruickshank, who created the Doodle and works as an art director for Google, says: “She approached subjects with great classical knowledge and training. These tools gave her the base with which to nurture her ultimate skill: instinct.”
He adds that he hopes society can “aspire to achieve what Barbara did – to shape forms in balance with nature and harmony, whether that form is sculpture, writing, music or even just ourselves”.