Veronica Ryan: Magnolia Grandiflora

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Magnolia Grandiflora, 2021
Edition of 18 (plus 2 artist proofs)
Stamped with artist initials
Materials: Bronze
Dimensions: 9 x 4 cm (slight variations apply)

There are two variations within this edition as two magnolia pods were chosen to cast in bronze. 


As part of the exhibition Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life, The Hepworth Wakefield commissioned British artist Veronica Ryan to create a new installation. This intervention highlights Hepworth's work as an enduring source of inspiration and celebrate her artistic legacy. In addition to the commision, Veronica Ryan has generously produced this limited edition sculpture, with all profits supporting the ambitious learning and exhibition programmes at the gallery.

The investigation of human experience through abstract sculpture is central to both artists’ work. Hepworth spoke of ‘the figure in the landscape’, referring to a person’s relationship to their environment. Ryan explores this interaction through material encounters. This sculpture edition  evokes the fruits and flowers of a Magnolia tree that Ryan saw recently in Hepworth’s garden in St Ives. Two magnolia pods she found there have been cast in bronze with a chemical patina which produces a beautiful finish which will change subtly over time.  These irregular, organic structures remind Ryan of soursop fruits found in Monserrat, memories that relate to her mother who migrated to the UK from the Caribbean and would travel across London to source familiar fruit and vegetables.


Veronica Ryan (b. 1956) is a Montserrat-born British artist who currently splits her time between New York and the UK. She studied at St Albans, Bath Academy of Art, the Slade School of Art and the School for Oriental and African Studies.

In 2000, Ryan completed a residency at Tate St Ives, where she worked in the former studio of Barbara Hepworth and used marble gifted by the Hepworth Estate.

During her time there, Ryan made a series of works that responded to Hepworth’s sculpture, the Cornish landscape and to her own interests in interior and exterior forms, identity and place. A number of these pieces have since joined existing works by the artist in the Tate Collection and Arts Council Collection.

In 2021 Veronica Ryan’s sculptures Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit, (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae) were unveiled in the east London borough of Hackney as the first permanent artworks to honour the Windrush generation in the UK.

Looking to spread the cost? The Hepworth Wakefield is a member of Own Art, which allows you to spread the cost of your purchase over 10 months, completely interest free. For more information, please telephone the gallery on +44 1924 247375




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