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“Stimulating the parts that desk-based research can’t reach, the project explores these two giants of modern art through a series of songs – in musical styles from Motown to doo-wop – which Brimfield describes as ‘an animated academic essay full of high camp’.” Our Favourite Places


Barbara and Henry – The Musical is an exploration of an imagined relationship between revered sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, conceived by artist Mel Brimfield and singer-songwriter Gwyneth Herbert.

Over the course of four weeks Mel and Gwyneth are working in the gallery to devise a number of songs, working with performers and musicians towards a final performance on Saturday 13 December. The main gallery space becomes a theatrical set with costumes, props and backdrops. An entire wall is filled with the artists’ notes, diagrams and ideas, offering behind-the-scenes insight into the musical’s development.

The gallery also houses a reproduced workstation in the style of Henry Moore’s studio at Perry Green with the structure presenting a changing display of clay models and maquettes, much like the small clay test sculptures Moore produced. Local artists and visitors are invited to create and donate their own clay models to be displayed in the cabinet during the course of the residency. For further information or to submit a model, please contact sara.cluggish@sitegallery.org

The smaller gallery has been transformed into a recording studio and screening space for archival footage. Interviews with Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore are displayed alongside playful contributions by Mel and Gwyneth, deliberately interweaving fact and fiction.

See their Platform residency progress on the blog
Free two day composition and music workshops

As part of their Platform residency, Mel and Gwyneth are hosting free composition and music workshops for musicians and vocalists in Sheffield. Find out more by clicking on the PDFs below:
Vocalists opportunity   /    Musicians opportunity
Saturday 13 December: closing performance, 1pm 
Join us for Mel and Gwyneth’s closing performance as they share the new work created during the residency.

Eventbrite - Closing Performance: Mel Brimfield and Gwyneth Herbert, Barbara and Henry - The Musical

Previous events:
Tuesday 18 November: Transmission lecture, 4.30-6pm and drinks, 6.30pm
Mel and Gwyneth gave a free lecture as part of this year’s Transmission programme, which is a collaboration between Site Gallery and Sheffield Hallam University. Taking place on the first day of their Platform residency, their talk offered early insight into the project. Following the lecture, Mel and Gwyneth hosted drinks back at Site Gallery from 6.30-7.30pm.
Click here for the full Transmission programme

Find out more about Mel and Gwyneth’s preparation for their residency as they talk about their plans with Site Gallery’s Artistic Director, Laura Sillars:

Site Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation who are funding our programme of Platform Residencies from 2013 to 2016.

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