‘The Creative Act Is a Deeply Private Experience’: Watch Sculptor Phyllida Barlow Make Hulking Works From Modest Materials
As part of a collaboration with Art21, hear news-making artists describe their inspirations in their own words.

When British sculptor Phyllida Barlow attended art school in London in the 1960s, feminine materials were considered taboo, and students were encouraged to make monumental, assertive, and sleek works.

Anyone who has encountered a work by Barlow knows that her hulking, whimsical sculptures, made of plastic pipes, cardboard, fabrics, cement, and other humble objects, are just the opposite.

Barlow grew up with a creative mother who encouraged her to see the potential use of everything, teaching her to make dresses, knit, and to fashion dollhouse furniture out of matchboxes.