Memorial Figure 1945-46 (LH 262)


Hornton stone
length 142.2cm

I think the figure I carved in 1945 and 1946 in memory of Christopher Martin has found a perfect setting in the grounds of Dartington Hall; there are other parts of those lovely gardens that may well have been equally suitable, but it was this setting I had in mind when working on the maquettes. The figure is a memorial to a friend who loved the quiet mellowness of this Devonshire landscape. It is situated at the top of a rise, and when one stands near it and takes in the shape of it in relation to the vista one becomes aware that the raised knee repeats or echoes the gentle roll in the landscape. I wanted it to convey a sense of permanent tranquillity, a sense of being from which the stir and fret of human ways had been withdrawn, and all the time I was working on it I was very much aware that I was making a memorial to many generations of men who have engaged in a subtle collaboration with the land. Obviously, it would be out of place in a wilder, more rugged setting.

Henry Moore quoted in Sculpture in the Open Air: A Talk by Henry Moore on his Sculpture and its Placing in Open-Air Sites, edited by Robert Melville and recorded by the British Council 1955.