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London park that lost its Hepworth to gain new sculpture

Conrad Shawcross commissioned to fill void left by thieves in Dulwich Park

Barbara Hepworth's Two Forms (Divided Circle) was stolen from Dulwich Park in 2011. Photo: Southwark Council

A park in south London that lost a sculpture by Barbara Hepworth to thieves in 2011 will gain a work in three parts by the artist Conrad Shawcross. Dulwich Park’s new work, Three Perpetual Chords, has been commissioned by Southwark Council. Made of cast iron filled with concrete (intentionally cheap materials to deter thieves) and standing roughly at human height, the sculptures will relate to mathematical patterns found in music.

The Contemporary Art Society, a charity that supports the acquisition of contemporary art by public collections in the UK, managed the selection of the artist. Proposals were also considered by Anya Gallaccio, Ryan Gander and Eva Rothschild. Shawcross’s work is due to be installed next summer.

Trevor Moore, a member of the project’s steering group and of the Friends of Dulwich Park, said in a statement that he believed the new work will be a “worthy successor” of Hepworth’s “much-missed” Two Forms (Divided Circle), 1969, which stood in the park from 1970 until its theft in December 2011. The thieves have not been caught, despite a reward of £5,000, and it is feared that the bronze sculpture was sold for scrap metal.

Conrad Shawcross’s winning proposal for a series of new sculptures in Dulwich Park
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9 Dec 13
18:13 CET


Hello I was one of the people who voted on the shortlist. When visiting the Southwark Council site to find out about the outcome, I understood that it was awarded to the man who proposed a landscaped mound with a shape like that of the Hepworth sculpture. Please could you tell me why this proposal has not now been selected, as I thought this a magical idea and a permeant reminder of the sculpture that was stolen. Mary Sutherland

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