gardens open to the public landscapes outdoor sculpture photography Yorkshire

A Week of Culture – Part 2 – Yorkshire Sculpture Park

At least once a year we go to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park so it was bound to be one of the venues on our cultural holiday. It is always a cold place and often wet and windy. We were bound to have rough weather as we were visiting in January during a particularly wet, windy winter. Thank goodness for the coffee shop which provided us several opportunities to warm back up. We arrived before it opened and became so absorbed in the special nature of this place that we left as the grounds were closing.

The four featured artists in early 2014 are Angie Lewin, Tom Price, Dennis Oppenheim and Awar Kanwatr, but as always there are resident pieces all around. Most of the pieces are sympathetically displayed around the grounds in the open grassland, under trees, alongside the lake and on grassed slopes. There is also a gallery where work can be displayed. It is a stunning building with galleries that provide beautiful display spaces. The first of the photos below show the building from the front whereas the second shows how it fits into the slope of the garden hidden by its green roof. All the lawn here is in fact the roof of the galleries.

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The original red-bricked wall of the walled garden and its bothy are still here providing unusual display spaces. Alongside the wall we found these “sound benches” part of an exhibition of work by Amar Kanwar, a combination of film and installation.

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The Bothy Gallery itself featured some of the work of sculpture Tom Price. Small bronzes are here to enjoy close up and a huge 9 feet tall figure entitled “Network” was to be searched for in the grounds. I found his work fascinating so it was a wonderful experience being so close to his pieces and his subjects are contemporary people worked in the traditional medium of bronze.

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We have enjoyed the work of some great artists here in the past, David Nash, Andy Goldsworthy etc and the artist we were primarily focusing on during this visit was Angie Lewin. We usually come here to look at the work of sculptors or land artists but Angie Lewin is an artist and designer who works in watercolours as well as prints using the techniques of a woodcut, lino cut, screen prints and lithography with much of her work being used as book or magazine illustrations. The natural world is her main stimulus especially skeletal seed heads against the sky. I love her work finding it fresh and lively as well as original.  Enjoy this little montage of her work.

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To be given the opportunity to view her sketchbooks was a delight and I was tempted to purchase a book of her work after seeing so many beautiful pieces.

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But of course there was lots more to see, including a few pieces we seek out in the grounds on every visit. Works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, James Turrell and Antony Gormley.

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As we returned to the centre after enjoying our wander around the grounds we discovered another interesting and unexpected piece of work. Every space available is used to provide original and effective display galleries, in this case even a stairway. These little ceramic creatures in a piece called “Infestation” are the work of Anna Collette Hunt and provide great entertainment as you climb the stairs.

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This day’s cultural visit was to be the first of two days at Wakefield. The following day we went in search of the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery within the city itself. These two venues are two out of the three that make up the “Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle”. After this cultural holiday we will just have the one of the three corners of the triangles left to see, the city of Leeds. This comprises the Leeds Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute. We will soon be planning a few more days away to discover what that venue has to offer. To find out more about the triangle of galleries visit

To re-visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park when I share my favourite sculptors with you see my next blog in the “Week of Culture” series of posts.

By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

4 replies on “A Week of Culture – Part 2 – Yorkshire Sculpture Park”

I normally don’t LOL at your posts, but when I got to the statue holding the cell phone (or whatever small technology it was intended to be) I had to chuckle. I guess I have to accept that we have actually moved beyond every human being holding a smart phone in their hand like it is the Holy Grail to our statues doing the same thing. Beautiful photos as always. 🙂

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