A Walk Round the Park at YSP


It turned out to be a fine winter’s afternoon on Saturday. So after we’d had a look at the Song for Coal in the Chapel we decided to take a stroll through the grounds.

We walked down the field of Henry Moore’s towards the Lower Lake


Looking back up he hill


We headed towards the old bridge and crossed the river


At the other side of the bridge, we looked over towards the weir


Looking west, this was the view over the Lower Lake.


We decided to walk along the north shore of the lake a we hadn’t taken that rote during recent visits. Some new art works had been installed during the last couple of years including a couple of works by David Nash.

This is Black Mound, a circular group of charred wooden stumps, increasing in height towards the centre of the piece forming a pyramid like structure




49 Square didn’t look like much – a group of saplings planted inside protective plastic tubes


It’s one of his “growing works” like his well known Ash Dome. The saplings – Himalayan Birch – are arranged in a square pattern and over time they will grow and the work will change and evolve.

The winter sun created interesting light effects over the lake


Looking north we could see the large work – Promenade (1986) – by Sir Anthony Caro


and Bretton Hall


Looking back along the Lake


Towards the western end of the lake we passed another work we hadn’t seen during previous visits, Woodland Spirit – Diana (1913) by Lucy and Jorge Orta


Diana, formely known as Ubelka, the ancient name of the river Huveaune and a water goddess, was renamed by Orta in 2014 to reflect her current location at YSP. Diana Beaumont lived on YSP’s Bretton Estate from the late 1700s until her death in 1831 and was instrumental in landscaping the lakes and gardens.

The sculpture’s new name also references the Roman goddess of the hunt, wild animals and woodland, who was believed to have the power to talk to and control animals. This and Diana’s position surveying YSP’s 18th century designed landscape, alludes to the complex relationship between humans and nature.


A flock of geese flew along the Lake



Looking over the field towards Bretton Hall


At the end of the lake we could see the work – One and Other – by Anthony Gormley silhouetted against the blue winter sky. A cast of his body perched on top of a tree trunk like a totem pole.


Walking back up the field we passed another work that was new to us – The Frequency of Trees (2014) – by Caroline Locke


The Frequency of Trees comprises a series of 14 tuning forks tuned to the frequency of different trees within YSP: oak, horse chestnut, beech and the cedar of Lebanon in the Formal Garden.

We were able to strike the tuning forks and listen to the different frequencies produced.

Sound often features in Caroline Locke’s work. in July 2012 she had a residency at the Chapel at the YSP with her work Sound Fountains

Sound Fountains pass sound waves through water, allowing the viewer to ‘see’ sound. Throughout the installation visitors were able to trigger different sound sequences via motion sensors connected to the fountains, build soundscapes and explore waveforms on the water’s surface.

Pity we missed that. I think I would have found it very interesting.

The next work we passed was Monolithe (1986) by Lambert Rocourt


Looking closer at the intricately carved patterns



Carrying on up the hill we passed a favourite work – The Family of Man by Barbara Hepworth


I’ve never been able to take a photograph that can do it justice. Its setting on th ehill amongst the trees really enhances this iconic work.

The sun was beginning to set and created interesting effects on Barbara Hepworth’s Squares with Two Circles (1963)



We walked past the Underground Gallery, which was closed as they are between exhibitions, and strolled around the upper lawn



The setting sun brought out the colour of the brickwork on the boundary wall



Looking back down over the park as the sun started to drop below the horizon



Time to go home, but driving towards the exit we stopped to look at this work by Jaume Plensa, illuminated with changing colours




A final look back towards a dramatic sky


before heading back towards the motorway and the drive home.


4 thoughts on “A Walk Round the Park at YSP

  1. Interesting to see the familiar sculptures alongside the new. New to me anyway. It’s a while since I took a walk round the YSP. I wonder whether you got to see the Emily Sutton exhibition which I believe is paintings and is inside. Barbara

    • We saw the Emily Sutton exhibition when we went over to the YSP on New Years Day. It’s upstairs in the main building. Shes a very talented draftswoman. I particularly like her pictures of French markets and cafes. Made me want to nip over the channel!

      The park is so large that we never get around all of it. And we hadn’t been along the shore of the lake for some time. And they are always adding (and removing) works around the park so irrespective on whether they’re between exhibitions in the Underground gallery (as is the case at the moment) there’s usuall something new to seek out. So always worth a visit I think

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