Saturday, 23 April 2016

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

It seems such a long time since my holidays but it's really only been two weeks. Today I have another of our days out to share: it's quite a picture-heavy post as there was so much to see.

I'd seen a notice in the papers about an exhibition by the American artist, KAWS, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and thought it was something Chickpea's boyfriend might enjoy. Both of them are fans of animation and KAWS is known for his strange cartoon-like paintings and sculptures. Off we went.

Joan Miro

The Park is set in 500 acres near Wakefield with over 100 artworks on display at any one time. Entry is free though there's a charge for parking. There are some indoor galleries but the majority of work is in the open air.

We set off towards the KAWS sculptures passing by lots of others on the way.

Crawling - Sophie Ryder

Sitting - Sophie Ryder

Ten Seated Figures - Magdelena Abakanowicz

Crossing - Nigel Hall

This one, Night and Day by Marialuisa Tadei, was one of our favourites. It just glowed amongst the greenery.

Octopus - Marialuisa Tadei

I also enjoyed the Galloping Horse by Julian Opie. It was double-sided so you could see the horse moving across the landscape from different parts of the park.

The sculptures by KAWS (real name Brian Donnelly) were in a cluster by the lake.

You can see by the size of the people nearby just how huge they were.

There was a second exhbition of his work at the gallery at the other end of the park so we headed in that direction.

If you've ever been to see Another Place at Crosby beach, you'll instantly recognise this as being by Antony Gormley.

The indoor gallery is on top of the hill. We've just walked up along the side of this field. The main buildings and car park are just visible in the distance.

In the gallery there were paintings as well as smaller sculptures.

By this point, we were getting pretty peckish but it turned out that the 'coffee shop' was just a kiosk with only drinks and snacks (chocolate, crisps etc). We refuelled with a cup of tea and a biscuit and set off back to the main building in search of something more substantial.

On the way back, this bench caught my eye - so moving.

We also passed another of my favourites of the day, Dennis Oppenheim's Trees: From Alternative Landscape Components 2005-6. Like this one, all the trees were made from random bits of metal like kitchen sinks and baths.

Fly Away Home - Asha Munn

Family of Man - Barbara Hepworth

Hurray, we've reached the main building and time for food! You can see the same field we walked along from the gallery on the left of the photo.

Refreshed, it was time to explore the other side of the park. Gorgeous views across the open countryside.

We were heading for the old chapel.

Outside was the Iron Tree by Ai WeiWei.

Inside was a video installation, Fire Woman, by Bill Viola. As we walked through the door of the chapel and into the darkness, the video was being projected onto the wall: the silhouette of a woman in front of loud, raging fire. As you watched, the woman disappeared and the flames gradually transformed into calm water. Really impressive. If you'd like to see it, the 11 minute video can be viewed here.

Three piece reclining figure - Henry Moore

Back out into the light and more sculptures to be seen.

Large Totem Head - Henry Moore

In the 18th century deer shelter is another 'experience' James Turrell's Deer Shelter Skyspace. The name makes me think of a character in a sci-fi movie! Anyway, go inside and there's a white room with marble benches all around the outside.

And a square hole in the ceiling to gaze at the sky. It's meant to be a place of quiet contemplation but was filled with kids messing about and therefore anything but quiet. A shame as I can imagine it feeling very restful.

Anyway, plenty of peace and space to be found in the rest of the park.

Draped seated woman - Henry Moore

Jonathan Borofsky - Molecule Man 1+1+1

And last but definitely not least, Buddha by Niki de Saint Phalle - another of our favourites.

Well done if you've made it to the end! I think we had at least 5 hours there and there were still parts of the park and galleries we didn't explore. I'd definitely recommend a visit if you're in the area.

Of course, I couldn't leave without buying a souvenir from the excellent (though pricey) gift shop...

...a wooden tree and a pack of multi-coloured leaves. It was only when I got home that I realised I had some wooden birds from the same range. They all look really at home together :)

Hope you're enjoying St George's Day. Or maybe you're celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death? Which is a bit weird given that it's also his birthday!

It's a busy day then, but did you also know that it's traditionally the day to harvest dandelions for making wine? Now that does sound like something to celebrate ;-)

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Random selection

Well, I was going to show you another of our days out from when I was on leave but decided to show you a random selection of things I've been getting up to instead. Something for everyone, I hope!

So, lately I've been...

Cooking...from the latest book by the Hemsley sisters, Good and Simple. I really needed some healthy and tasty food after the tummy bug and a lot of the recipes appealed to me. This one is their lentil bake and very tasty it was too; even better as leftovers a couple of days later. Also very good was their prawn and carrot stir-fry with a peanut lime sauce. They are part of the coconut oil brigade so some of the ingredients are a bit obscure but it's pretty easy to substitute normal foods. A good addition to my cookery book collection.

Baking...Chocolate and fudge cookies using my favourite cookie recipe. Well, a woman can't live on healthy recipes alone! I made these to use up some packets which had been lurking at the back of the cupboard with all the half-used sprinkles, gel colours and flavourings. I need to develop better willpower in front of the baking section! family history. There was free access to the census records on Ancestry the other day so I looked up some of my ancestors. I can't tell you how exciting it was to find out that one of them, Maria Hatton, was a milliner! Being so into sewing and crafts myself, it was a real thrill to find someone from my past with a creative gene.

Sewing...a new picture to satisfy that creative gene. The pattern is from a past issue of Stitch magazine and is by Stephanie Redfern. I still have all the embellishment and embroidery stitches to do yet and will show you when it's finished.

Gardening...It's been such a glorious day that I decided to tackle the garden. The grass had its first mow of the year and I've generally been tidying and digging. My friend gave me a garden centre voucher for my birthday and I want to use it to buy a couple of new shrubs. Unfortunately that means digging out all the old ones and the endless crocosmia bulbs. Do not ever plant crocosmia as it takes over your garden. It took me twice as long to clear them because I discovered that worms like to hide in the clumps of bulbs and I couldn't throw worms away so I had to carefully pick through every clump.

The most exciting thing in the garden though is the appearance of purple-sprouting broccoli. I mentioned a few weeks ago that the plants had been decimated by caterpillars but I had left them in the ground and hoped for the best. Realistically I wasn't expecting much but, look! Purple bits! It looks like we'll be tasting some after all!

Visiting...John Rylands Library in Manchester to see the Magic, Witches and Devils exhibition. You can see a copy of the booklet on the web site. Lots of fascinating information including a recipe from 1555 for youthful looking skin: water distilled from cinnamon, eggs and donkey's milk!

Buying...a new bird tile by Lee Page Hanson to add to my collection: it's the one on the right. Well, you can't be in Manchester and not look at the shops too. I bought the tile on the left a few years ago. I love how they make a pair with the little and large hearts.

And, last but not least, I've been continuing with the kirigami. As always, a really mixed range of designs and I'm still looking forward to what each day brings.

Well, time to unwind before bed. Next time I'll try to show you one of those days out. Enjoy your week. x