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Henry Moore fund to pay bills for sculptors struggling with cost of living

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Henry Moore, the son of a coalminer, would never have created great works of art if he had not received a gift of financial aid as a young man.A survivor of the battlefields of the first world war, he returned to his hometown of Castleford, West Yorkshire, believing he would become a school teacher.

But the intervention of a former art mistress led him to apply for an ex-serviceman’s grant.Now the foundation set up by the late British sculptor is to make 50 special rescue payments, the first it has ever given in response to a cost of living crisis, to help keep talented artists in food, heating and materials.“We are at a critical point,” said Godfrey Worsdale, director of the Henry Moore Foundation. “Can you imagine trying to keep a studio warm now?

Many sculptors just wear lots of coats at the best of times and can’t afford to put a little heater on. The rise in prices is affecting everyone, but what the heck do you do if you don’t have a regular monthly paycheque coming in?”The foundation is awarding rapid response grants totalling £100,000 in an emergency it judges is posing as grave a threat as the pandemic to creativity.

The payments aim to “alleviate financial pressures resulting from the cost of living crisis and the recent funding cuts to the arts” and are “unrestricted”, meaning sculptors can use the money in any way.“It’s very easy to say that great artists will manage somehow and that quality work always emerges.

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