This unique event, one of a collaborative series organised by the Arts Council Collection team based at Longside and the Henry Moore Institute, focused on a single work, At the Foot of Borobudur (1976) by Charles Hewlings, which was acquired by the Arts Council Collection in 1977. The event developed out of a 2013 research project undertaken by the artist John Plowman at the Henry Moore Institute. Plowman had wanted to explore his interest in ‘certain aspects of this period of the history of British sculpture. I am fascinated by how the experience of encountering this sculpture at the Acme Gallery in 1976 has stayed with me during the intervening years and contributed to the development of my sculptural practice.'
At the Foot of Borobudur was presented at Longside Gallery especially for the event which brought together a broad audience including artists, writers and critics, many of whom had contributed to the British art scene in the late 1970s. Plowman led a most illuminating ‘crit’-style discussion, one which highlighted his fascination with the sculpture, proffered Hewlings’ own thoughts on his practice and encouraged a diverse range of responses from the audience. We received very positive feedback from delegates, many of whom were inspired by the rare opportunity to view and discuss a single work, with the artist present.
Delegates were invited to contribute a short written response after the event, and these texts are in the process of being compiled to provide a lasting archive of the day and a unique research resource for the Arts Council Collection and the Henry Moore Institute. John Plowman is producing a film work and written documentation as further tangible outcomes of the day and of his Henry Moore Institute research project.