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 ;-)


  1. It's a shame the kids were messing about because the Skyspace is wonderful when people respect it. It's been a while since I went to YSP. I must go back soon.

  2. What an interesting place!!! Those scultures are incredible!!!!! They are enormous too!!

  3. I haven't been to YSP for a really long time, we are hoping to catch the Paolozzi exhibition though, hopefully next month.

  4. Of all these photos, I like the dandelion, the daffs and the photo of the bench (Seamus) the best. All that art is wasted on the likes of me!

  5. It's all so stunning and your photos are brilliant. Not been for a few years now, but loving all the art here at the moment.
    Amanda xx

  6. Wow I really do need to get there oneday! There seems so much varied art to see.Stunning.X