New Year’s Day being a Sunday, Monday was a Bank Holiday. We decided we’d drive back over the M62 to Wakefield, this time to combine art with some exercise at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. (and try out my new camera!)
We set off reasonably early, arriving about 11 o’clock as we wanted to make the most of the short hours of daylight. Parking up on the old car park we walked up towards the Underground Gallery and YSP centre, passing an old favourite, Barbara Hepworth’s Family of Man.
The Ultimate Form
It looked like the family had been given something of a makeover and in November it had been d re-sited further along the Hillside, away from the now mature trees, in order to give an unobstructed view of the work and to protect the tree roots. The work had also been cordoned off, meaning it was not longer possible to get in amongst the individual pieces which could now only viewed from a (albeit short) distance.I hope this is only temporary while the newly laid turf beds in.
After some dinner, we set off for a walk down to Longside and back. A decent circuit taking in several notable art works on the way. It was a fine day. Cold, but sunny with a clear blue sky.
We headed across to the old Georgian chapel.
The current exhibition We Listen for the Future features four pieces of “sound art” by a South African artist, James Webb.
At one end of the chapel there was a large bank of speakers playing intermittent sounds made by fists banging on a door – Untitled (with the sound of its own making), 2016. It’s intended to
reference ancient law of religious sanctuary, as well as the current refugee crisis
I rather liked another of the exhibits – All that is Unknown, 2016. This comprised a pair of speakers facing each other across the length of the room in the upstairs gallery, which played the sound of a heartbeat very faintly so it could only be heard by putting your ear very close to the speakers.
While we were inside the chapel strong sunlight shining through one of the windows created an interesting pattern of light and shadow on the facing wall.
Leaving the chapel we set off down the hill, passing this work by Henry Moore
and further down the hill, Shadow Stone Fold by Andy Goldsworthy was occupied by a flock of sheep.
We crossed the bridge over the river at the bottom of the lake. Looking back we could see two works by David Nash – 49 Square (49 Himalayan birch trees, which, planted in seven rows of seven), and a collection of charred wood stumps, Black Mound.
We started to climb the hill towards Oxley Bank, via another work by David Nash,
Seventy-one Steps climbs from the lake up to the top of the bank, connecting the two sides of the valley and the four galleries. Seventy one huge oak steps, carefully charred and oiled, follow the lie of the land on the hill. The steps are completed by 30 tonnes of coal embedded between the steps to create a stunning installation that will erode and change over time.
These tree roots aren’t actually real
they’re another work of art. Speed Breakers by Hemali Bhuta are the roots of a fallen beech tree, cast in bronze and installed on the path up on Oxley Bank
Then another work by Andy Goldsworthy – Hanging Trees, three enclosures built into one of the estate’s historic ha-has
with sections of trees incorporated into the walls
Further down towards Longside, in the woods, another Goldsworthy – Outclosure. A round stone enclosure, the walls too high to peer inside.
Approaching Longside, looking back across the valley towards Bretton Hall.
We passed a field of rare breed sheep
The Longside Gallery is currently closed so we set off across the fields back towards the main part of the Estate.
Reaching the Lake, a closer view of the old Hall
The two lakes were both partly frozen
We passed Anthony Gormley’s One & Other
Setting back up the hill we passed several works including Ten Seated Figures. by The Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz
The bright sunshine really brought out the rusty red colour on the rough surface of the bronze sculptures
Crawking one of Sophie Ryder’s giant hare/human hybrids
And then back up towards the Underground Gallery passing Barbara Hepworth’s Square With Two Circles
This was the last day of the Not Vital exhibition we’d seen earlier in 2016. That had been a dull day, but Monday’s bright sunshine brought out the best of the stainless steel sculptures displayed outdoors
We took the opportunity to have a final look around the works displayed in the Underground Gallery
We also saw some of the paintings by Kate Daudy on various walls around the Park for her work This is Water. The images are scattered around the park and it would have been interesting to seek them out, but unfortunately with limited hours of daylight time didn’t permit.
After a strong shot of caffeine via a “flat white” we took a final stroll along the Lower Lake
getting a closer look at David Nash’s Black Mound
and 49 Square
Reaching the end of the lake
we set up back up the hill towards the YSP Centre. It was only 4 o’clock but the sun was beginning to set behind this work by Henry Moore.
A final look at the Not Vital sculptures in the garden by the Underground Gallery
and it was time to go back to the car, change out of our boots and set off back home after another good day at the YSP.