Paloma Varga Weisz in Conversation with Laurence Sillars

On 12 March 2020, the exhibition Paloma Varga Weisz: Bumped Body opened at the Henry Moore Institute. Following Government guidelines, in the wake of Covid-19, the Institute closed to visitors on 17 March 2020.

While the gallery was closed, we filmed a series of video conversations featuring artist Paloma Varga Weisz and Laurence Sillars, Head of the Henry Moore Institute from their homes in Germany and England.

Episode One

In this episode, Paloma Varga Weisz and Laurence Sillars share their experiences of installing the exhibition, opening it to the public, and how it felt having to close just five days later.

Episode Two

This episode focuses on Paloma Varga Weisz's 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.

Episode Three

Find out more about Paloma Varga Weisz's drawings in this episode, and see the works she has made during lockdown.

Episode Four

This episode explores Varga Weisz's training as a wood carver, how she was told to turn her back on these skills at art school and her approach to making now.

Episode Five

In this episode, Paloma Varga Weisz opens up about her family life, her experiences growing up with her artist father, and the influence this formative period has had on her own work.

Episode Six

In this final episode, Paloma Varga Weisz talks about two specific works in our exhibition - Wilde Leute and Waldfrau. Find out which historical artworks inspired these pieces and discover what other elements the artist drew on to make the final works.

About the artist

Paloma Varga Weisz (b. 1966, Mannheim, Germany) lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. She works primarily as a sculptor and as a draughtswoman, producing intricate carvings and small scale, mythical watercolour works. Classically trained in Bavaria, she was taught traditional techniques of woodcarving, modelling and casting before attending art school in Düsseldorf in the 1990s.

Paloma Varga Weisz’s handmade woodcarvings are heavily textured and tactile, and frequently probe traditional approaches towards display. Her figures, both sculptural and illustrated, are often laden with personal and collective motifs, where oddities of form are common fare: anthropomorphic figures, hybrid forms, or figures verging on the grotesque. 

Venue details

Venue address

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

Opening times

Galleries: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 5pm

Research Library: Monday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm; Sunday, 1 - 5pm
Archive of Sculptors' Papers: Tuesday to Friday, by prior appointment