Hepworth returns to figuration in 1970, in her own way. After all, a menhir and a standing human have similarities of forms. Same as Chadwick she does not look for recognizable details. She builds her characters like her totems by including holes that become more expressive than their surrounding material.
Nine Figures on a Hill, later renamed The Family of Man, is an assembly of nine separate sculptures that symbolize the phases of growth and maturity of the human being like in a surrealist wedding : Young Girl, Youth, Bride, Bridegroom, Parent I, Parent II, Ancestor I, Ancestor II and Ultimate Form. The number of stacked components varies from child to adult, from two to four.
The Family of Man was made in bronze in two complete sets plus four copies of each of the nine individual figures.
According to the artist, Parent I is the universal mother who may have given life to about twenty children. At nearly 2.70 cm high, she dominates the scenery while remaining opulent with her flexible lines. A bronze of Parent I is estimated £ 2M for sale by Sotheby's in London on November 22, lot 13.
SOLD for £ 3.2M before fees