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Henry Moore: Large Totem Head

Country Park

Large Totem Head is an upright bronze sculpture with a smooth curved back and a concave front bisected down the centre. This feature highlights the symmetrical qualities of the sculpture, which give it the appearance of an organic specimen, like a fruit sliced open.

Enlarged from a 1963 sculpture Head: Boat Form, this work combines organic and abstract elements. Although at first glance the simple curved forms of the sculpture may seem abstract and unfamiliar, when it is seen among the hills and trees of the Country Park its relationship to natural forms, such as seed pods and buds, becomes more apparent. This powerful, abstract head also stands as an emblem – or totem – in the landscape, commanding a view down and across the Country Park

"All art is abstract in one sense. Not to like abstract qualities or not to like reality, is to misunderstand what sculpture and art are about. Some artists are more visual, or get more excitement from nature in front of them, and then make a work of art from that. Other people do it from their insides, a more mental approach... But for me, I can’t cut my sculpture off from living, and the forms one see."

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