Breaking the Mould: Artwork Profiles

2 September 2021

Breaking the Mould, is the first survey of post-war British sculpture by women and represents the strength and diversity of a wide range of practices. Many of the represented artists have challenged widespread notions of sculpture as a ‘male occupation’ by embracing new materials, subjects and approaches. Others have avoided institutional bias by producing work for alternative spaces or public sites.


Natalie Rudd, Curator of the exhibition, explores selected artworks in more depth in these short films. 


Breaking the Mould will tour to Djanogly Gallery, Lakeside Arts, University of Nottingham 18 September 2021 - 9 January 2022

The Levinsky Gallery, The Arts Institute, University of Plymouth 26 March - 5 June 2022

Ferens Art Gallery, Hull 2 July–2 October 2022

The New Art Gallery Walsall Oct 2022 - March 2023




Veronica Ryan, Territorial, 1986

Veronica Ryan's sculptural practice draws on personal experience and reflects wider implications of history, trauma and recovery. Find out more about the artist and the artwork here with Senior Curator Natalie Rudd. 


Barbara Hepworth, Icon, 1957

Icon was carved at a pivotal moment in Hepworth's career, immediately after the remarkable series of guarea wood sculptures of 1054-56, and early in her adoption of sheet metal and bronze. Here, Senior Curator Natalie Rudd discusses the art work within the context of the exhibition and offers insight into Hepworth's practice. 

Wendy Taylor, Inversion, 1970

Wendy Taylor is best known for her public commissions, she has made over 70 site specific sculptures which interact with their surroundings. Natalie Rudd explores the context that Taylor was working in and highlights some of the interests within her practice. 

Katie Cuddon, A Problem of Departure, 2013

Katie Cuddon has worked with clay since 1999, when she was studying at Glasgow School of Art. A Problem of Departure was acquired by the Arts Council Collection in 2018. The work is suggestive of a pillow clasped between dimpled thighs, a private yet playful moment. Natalie Rudd explores the work further here, discussing the making process. 

Phyllida Barlow, untitled: dunce, 2015

Phyllida Barlow uses common construction materials to form large-scale sculptures that disrupt and subvert the spaces they inhabit. untitled: dunce was acquired by the Arts Council Collection in 2016, Natalie Rudd discusses the work in more depth. 


The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.