Sites & Situations: While the Hepworth was away

Sites & Situations: While the Hepworth was Away is a publication by Plaintiff Press exploring a series of temporary artworks on the site of Hepworth’s Single Form (Memorial) in Battersea Park while it was on loan for six months. Commissioned by Wandsworth Borough Council, five groups of MA Sculpture students from the Royal College of Art set to work on imagining, planning and negotiating responses to the park and, of course, the absent Hepworth sculpture in it’s vacant site.

Each intervention demonstrated a sensitive, and at times irreverent engagement with the legacy of the site and the history of the park. This publication brings all five projects together, not as documentation of what has been, but as an insight into the complex nature of public art commissions and the commissioning process as a whole. This publication is a reflection on the discussions, logistics and collaborative partnerships, bringing to light the less visible behind-the-scenes interactions and creative process that led to the ambitious outcomes of five sculptures that, for a time, stood While the Hepworth was Away, bringing a new awareness of Single Form (Memorial), Battersea Park and open civic space in general.

Published in July 2023, this artist book publication is a limited edition of 110. It is a handbound concertina with double saddle stitch booklets, bespoke wallet and set of 5 postcards.

Created by Plaintiff Press upon the invitation of the Royal College of Art and Wandsworth Borough Council, this project was a collaboration between the aforementioned, Enable, Friends of Battersea Park and The Battersea Society, and the artists whose sculptures were on display in the park from June to September 2022. The contributing students were delivering their projects with guidance and support from Jaspar Joseph-Lester (Head of Programme, MA Sculpture), Joanne Tatham (Reader in Contemporary Art), Hannah Lambert (RCA Community Engagement Manager) and Anna Vickery (Arts Programme and Partnership Manager, Wandsworth Council).

Graphic & Book Design: João Domingos Villas | 3D Design: Sharon Lee