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HomeNewsHepworth Gallery loan 'Approaching Thunder' exhibition to Kirkby Gallery

Hepworth Gallery loan ‘Approaching Thunder’ exhibition to Kirkby Gallery

Kirkby Gallery is delighted to present Approaching Thunder, as the first gallery on its national tour.

This exhibition draws from The Hepworth Wakefield’s outstanding collection of 1940s British works on paper, revisiting a decade of anxiety, austerity and idealism that resonates strongly with our lives today. With materials strictly rationed and the art market in crisis, leading artists such as John Piper, Graham Sutherland and Edward Bawden turned to the inexpensive medium of paper.

Although a substantial number of works in the show were produced under the patronage of Kenneth Clark’s War Artists Advisory Committee, these images are in marked contrast to the idealised state propaganda embodied in the art of Nazi Germany. Though government-regulated, the works exhibited here convey individual and subjective experience, exploring ordinary lives under extraordinary shared circumstances. Figures are lost in thought or absorbed in their labours; intricately described landscapes reveal devastation but also the lingering vitality of the natural world.

Perhaps reflecting this move to a renewed social engagement, public interest in modern art soared across the country.

A small group of Henry Moore’s shelter drawings form a particular highlight, while a selection of illustrated books show modernist artists using low-cost lithography to circulate their work across a broad social spectrum.

Teacher First EventThursday 25 January3.45-4.30pm

Private View: Thursday 25 January4.30-6.30pm

Please note these are RSVP events only.  If you would like to attend please contact Tina Ball 0151 443 5617 or

Schools/groups:  If you wish to bring a class or group to the gallery, please book in advance via the contact details

Kirkby Gallery, The Kirkby Centre, Norwich Way, Kirkby, Knowsley L32 8XY.

Opening times: Mon- Fri 9am – 5pm, Sat 10am – 1pm (please note opening times are subject to change, please check before visiting)



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