Moore’s Figure in a Shelter 1975 finds its origins in the Helmet Head series first produced in 1939-40. By making the central figure smaller, widening and dividing the space around that figure, and even eventually removing it entirely from its’ protective armour to produce Bronze Form 1985, Moore adapts and changes the theme to fit into a post-war period.
I was working on the idea of form within form. This idea of protection, of shelter within armour, has been with me for twenty years or more. It may have some psychological thing behind it, the mother-and-child idea, perhaps. You see, if this helmet weren’t smooth, it wouldn’t have that idea of “helmet”. I meant it to have a kind of mechanical vitality. It wouldn’t have this feeling of mystery, either, just as in a kind of armour. It’s a caricature of the human figure, in a sense.
Quoted in Carlton Lake, 'Henry Moore’s World , Atlantic Monthly, Boston, January p.41