Paloma Varga Weisz: Bumped Body

This exhibition will reopen on 1 September, and has been extended until 3 January 2021

Exhibition in Galleries 1, 2, 3 and 4

The Henry Moore Institute will reopen to the public on Tuesday 1 September 2020 after a temporary closure of more than five months due to Covid-19. Find out more.

Discover Paloma Varga Weisz’s enchanting figurative sculpture, made using traditional techniques, including woodcarving and ceramics.

Spanning over twenty years, work from throughout her career is on display. The exhibition features a diverse cast of characters; from early works such as Wilde Leute (Wild Bunch), a series of ceramics that take the form of fantastical creatures, to later pieces such as Beulenmann (Bumpman) and the fragmented body of Waldfrau (Women of the Forest).

The exhibition also includes over forty of her watercolours and drawings which present a world of masquerades, disguises and role reversals. Paloma Varga Weisz’s starting point for this poetic and narrative work is often her own life experiences, yet it also reflects wider themes of identity, societal ‘norms’ and historical stereotyping.

Growing up in Germany, her artist father was a major influence on her future artistic career. She was classically trained, learning woodcarving and modelling in Bavaria, before studying in Düsseldorf, where she lives and works today.

Paloma Varga Weisz in conversation with Laurence Sillars

While the gallery is closed, join Paloma and curator Laurence Sillars for a series of video conversations on a range of topics, including their experiences installing the exhibition and having to close it just five days later.

Episode Two is now out, in which Paloma and Laurence talk about Bumpman, the history and ideas behind the sculpture and how, sitting outside the Institute while we are closed, he has become a symbol of our time.

Watch all episodes here


Creative activities

We're keen to inspire making in all forms while our galleries are closed, so we've been working with artists to create a series of Art at Home resources, inspired by Paloma Varga Weisz: Bumped Body.

Sculpture Poems activity

All art has a story behind it. We're challenging you to look at, think and write about sculpture, then turn your ideas into poems or short stories.

Geometric Sculpture activity

Using paper straws and pipe cleaners, follow our simple step-by-step instructions to build geometric sculptures inspired by the 'Platonic Solids' - 5 special shapes which are important in maths and science. Then, once you've mastered the technique, start creating your own shapes and structures.

Wild Bunch printed collage activity

Taking inspiration from the Wild Bunch figures and the rich textures that appear in Paloma Varga Weisz's work, this activity involves using household materials to create different printed textures and patterns, and then using your prints to make a collage of a 'wild' family.

This resource is aimed at primary and secondary age children, and includes a step-by-step guide to making your very own Wild Bunch collage.

Bumpman drawing activity

In this activity suitable for all ages and levels of ability, you will learn techniques to make your drawings look 3D in our video workshop, so that you be able to draw the bumpiest possible portrait of Bumpman.

Exhibition guide


The exhibition Bumped Body is a partnership between Bonnefanten and the Henry Moore Foundation.

Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

The Henry Moore Institute will reopen on Tuesday 1 September 2020.

Find out more.