An early start for the YSP

It was our wedding anniversary last Saturday (6th July), a cause for a celebration. But there was another reason why it was a special day.

We were up early, despite it being a Saturday, to drive over to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It’s a favourite place which we usually visit 2 or 3 times a year to see exhibitions and enjoy a walk through the park. This time, however, we were going to a special event. For Christmas I’d paid for my wife’s name to be cast in iron as part of the “Walk of Art 2” on the pathway leading into the new visitor centre, the Weston. The second section of the walk, which includes her entry, had been recently installed and we were attending the official opening.


There were speeches by Peter Murray, the YSP’s Director, Gordon Young, the artist who designed the work as well as his granddaughter

Peter Murray
Gordon Young
Gordon Young and Sophie, his granddaughter

We then went outdoors where the artist and his grandchildren cut the ribbon to officially open “Walk of Art 2

Cutting the ribbon

The names are cast in iron on a series of plates (my wife’s entry is on Plate 27) . Newly installed they were reddish-brown but will change over time due to weathering. The first set of plates, installed a few months ago, had already weathered and were more of a silvery-grey colour.

My wife’s name is on one of these plates


but you’ll have to guess which one it is!

The new visitor centre is at the far end of the park, on the car park nearest to the M1. It’s quite a lot smaller than the main centre, but has a restaurant, small gallery and shop. The design is quite clean and simple, constructed from layered pigmented concrete with lots of wood and glass


The architects have designed in sustainable features such as natural ventilation, an air-source heat pump, a low-energy environmental control system and a wild-flower roof .

Inside the Weston’s gallery

The new visitor centre has opened up the far end of the park for displaying art, which make it even harder to see everything in one day’s visit!

Currently there are a number of works by Damien Hirst, the Leeds born artist, on display as part of the Yorkshire Sculpture International exhibition which is being run in partnership with the Hepworth Gallery, Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds.


After the ceremony we strolled across the park to visit the new exhibitions that have opened in the Underground Gallery and the Chapel – I’ll be writing them up in a couple of other posts – and to have a wander round the park looking at some new exhibits as well as some old favourites.

13 thoughts on “An early start for the YSP

  1. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. And what a great Christmas gift for your wife – a stroke of genius I would say. I remember the model of the little girl with the calliper standing outside shops for charity collections. There was a little boy version too, I think. A bit alarming at that size.

    • Thanks Anabel 😊
      The Christmas present took a little while to be realised in iron, but it was nice that the opening coincided with our anniversary (35 years!)
      I also remeber the model of the little girl. Would feel uncomfortable in this day and age

      • It certainly would – very disrespectful. I was going to say non-PC in my original comment but deleted it because I hate that phrase and I couldn’t think of a better way to put it. It’s so often used critically whereas I’m all for PC if it just means showing respect for other people. See, my brain’s working better this morning. I could think of the word respect!
        PS think I identified your wife’s name successfully.

      • I agree 100% with your comments. People must be treated with respect and care needs to be taken on how things are phrased. Words matter and the wrong ones can hurt and offend.

  2. Happy Anniversary! And what a fab thought out present. I looked at the names and think maybe Lynda or Wendy. 🙂 No idea really. Love those unicorn sculptures.

    • You’re not close with the name, Shaz 😀
      The unicorns are one sculpture. Like the giant woman (and a giant man on display in Leeds), one side shows the exterior view of the unicorn and the other side its insides, so to speak.

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