Stringed Object 1938 (LH 187)


bronze and string
length 7.5cm

Undoubtedly the source of my stringed figures was the Science Museum. Whilst a student at the Royal College of Art, I became involved in machine art, which in those days had its place in modern art. Although I was interested in the work of Léger, and the Futurists, who exploited mechanical forms, I was never directly influenced by machinery as such. Its interest for me lies in its capacity for movement, which after all, is its function.

I was fascinated by the mathematical models I saw there, which had been made to illustrate the difference of the form that is half-way between a square and a circle. One model had a square stone end with twenty holes along each side making eighty holes in all. Through these holes strings were threaded and led to a circle with the same number of holes at the other end. A plane interposed through the middle shows the form that is halfway between a square and a circle. One end could also be twisted to produce forms that would be terribly difficult to draw on a flat surface. It wasn’t the scientific study of these models but the ability to look through the strings as with a bird cage and to see one form within another which excited me.

Henry Moore quoted from Henry Spencer Moore, photographed and edited by John Hedgecoe, words by Henry Moore, Nelson, London; Simon and Schuster, New York 1968, p.105