Henry Moore began working on Two Piece Sculpture: #10: Interlocking in 1968. He was seventy years old and his exhibition at the Tate Gallery, London had opened in July. In his essay that accompanies the exhibition catalogue, David Sylvester notes that it is characteristic of Moore's sculpture from the 1960s that "Penetration and enclosure are implied: the concept of forms fitting together overlaps with that of internal and external forms. There is a feeling of movement of one within another, only it is uncertain whether this is of entrance or emergence" (Henry Moore, exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London, 1968, p. 141). Elements of the landscape (mountains, cliffs, headlands, and even the crinkled surface of the earth) and found objects, such as pebbles and bones, often provided Moore with the inspiration for a sculpture.
Two Piece Sculpture: #10: Interlocking relates to Moore's Vertebrae series, also conceived in 1968, that was inspired by the bones of the spinal column. It shares with the series an interest in the way in which two or three different forms interlock to create varied viewpoints. It may also have been inspired by Moore's observation of two pebbles that had accidentally interlocked while being handled. Moore stated his intention in the following terms:
Sculpture should always at first sight have some obscurities, and further meanings. People should want to go on looking and thinking; it should never tell all about itself immediately. Initially both sculpture and painting must need effort to be fully appreciated, or else it is just an empty immediacy...In my sculpture, explanations often come afterwards. I do not make a sculpture to a programme or because I have a particular idea I am trying to express. While working, I change parts because I do not like them in such a way that I hope I am going to like them better. The kind of alteration I make is not thought out; I do not say to myself--this is too big, or too small. I just look at it and, if I do not like it, I change it. I work from likes and dislikes, and not by literary logic. Not by words, but by being satisfied with form. Afterwards I can explain or find reasons for it, but that is rationalization after the event. (Quoted in D. Mitchinson, ed., op. cit., p. 204)