press release

29 May 2021 - 12 March 2023

Breaking the Mould: Sculpture by Women since 1945
An Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition


Longside Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

​29 May – 5 September 2021

Djanogly Gallery, Lakeside Arts, University of Nottingham

18 September 2021 – 9 January 2022

The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth and The Box, Plymouth

26 March - 5 June 2022

Ferens Art Gallery, Hull

2 July – 2 October 2022

The New Art Gallery Walsall

21 October 2022 - 16 March 2023


A major new touring exhibition challenging the male-dominated narratives of post-war British sculpture by presenting a diverse and significant range of ambitious work by women.

Breaking the Mould is the first survey of post-war British sculpture by women. This exhibition provides a radical recalibration, addressing the many accounts of British sculpture that have marginalised women or airbrushed their work from art history altogether.

The exhibition surveys seventy-five years and explores the work of over forty sculptors. All of the works have been selected from the Arts Council Collection, which holds more than 250 sculptures by over 150 women. The exhibition features a number of sculptures on public display for the first time since they were purchased for the nation.

Breaking the Mould represents the strength and diversity of a wide range of practices. Many of the represented artists have challenged widespread notions of sculpture as a ‘male occupation’ by embracing new materials, subjects and approaches. Others have avoided institutional bias by producing work for alternative spaces or public sites.

Featured artists include Barbara Hepworth, Elisabeth Frink, Kim Lim, Cornelia Parker, Veronica Ryan, Rachel Whiteread and Anthea Hamilton.

Breaking the Mould is an Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition initiated in response to Women Working in Sculpture from 1960 to the Present Day: Towards a New Lexicon, a research project led by Catherine George (University of Coventry) and Hilary Gresty (independent).