Sculpture in the Park

Barbara Hepworth's "Family of Man" at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Barbara Hepworth's "Family of Man" at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

It was a nice day today and after 3 hard weeks grafting I decided it would be a good idea to take a day off.  I dusted off my passport, sorted out the visa and took the risk of crossing over the border into Yorkshire to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield.  Its somewhere I’ve been intending to visit for quite a while and it was well worth the trip.

There are loads of high quality sculptures set out in a fantastic setting in a country park. There was a whole field full of Henry Moore’s (a local lad from Castleford) plus work by Barbara Hepworth (also born just down the road, in Wakefield) and Elizabeth Frink.

During our visit we managed to see an exhibition by the American artist Isamu Noguchi with work exhibited indoors, in the Underground gallery, and outside. This was something of a revelation for me. I’ve never heard of Noguchi but I found his work fascinating. Texture, shape and colour. I particularly liked the works where he brought out the natural colour and texture of the stone he was working.

Two works by Isamu Noguchi

Two works by Isamu Noguchi

Works by Isamu Noguchi

Works by Isamu Noguchi outside the Underground Gallery

Other works I particularly liked included:

  • Elizabeth Frink’s three Riace bronzes inspired by the ancient Greek warrior statues discovered off the coast of Riace, Italy. These three menacing figures suddenly appear out the trees as you walk through the park.
Elizabeth Frink's three Riace bronze warriors

Elizabeth Frink's three Riace bronze warriors

  • Various pieces by Sophie Ryder which were an amalgam of human bodies with the heads of hares or rabbits
Piece by Sophie Ryder

Piece by Sophie Ryder

  • The coloured wire cylinders by Helen Escobedo placed in a field like weird, ghostly hay bales
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Helen Escobedo's ghostly hay bales

The park also features a Skyspace installation by James Turrell based around a deer shelter, which was an existing feature of the  park in its former guise as a deer park.  You enter through the old structure into a room with a rectangular hole in the ceiling. There are benches around the side of the room, the interior surfaces of which have a pale grey colour, and you can sit down and stare up at the sky through the hole. This induced a feeling of calm and it was fascinating to watch the sky change as the clouds passed over. It was really wierd in that because you were looking at only a small area of the sky, you could perceive  changes you would not have noticed looking at the “big” sky outside. I could have spent hours staring through the hole!

James Turrell's "Deer Shelter" at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

James Turrell's "Deer Shelter" at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Looking at the Sky from inside the Deer Shelter

Looking at the Sky from inside the Deer Shelter

There were many other works I really liked – too many to talk about here. If you’re reading this and are intrigued then its well worth a visit – even if it is in Yorkshire!