landscapes outdoor sculpture Yorkshire

A Week of Culture – Part Three – My Favourites at the YSP

For this third post in the Week of culture I promised to share with you some of my favourite  scultptors who have created pieces to display outdoors. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the ideal setting with its acres of grounds which was an area of parkland associated with a grand house. The sloping hillsides, the lake and woodland areas provide ideal settings for pieces of outdoor sculpture for both pure sculptors and land artists.

On our visit this winter the favourites we enjoyed were Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, David Nash and Richard Long.

I shall begin with a piece by Richard Long simply because this is the first time we have ever seen any of his work. Much of his work is based on a line, a walk or circles. He is the best known British land artist famous for his work made while walking. He has been honoured with a CBE for his art, the land art, sculpture, photography and paintings and in 1989 received the Turner Prize. At the sculpture park we had to walk along the shores of the lake through woodlands before we found this piece. The photo was taken on my i Pad so do not do the piece justice. The stone pieces were of red sandstone.

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My second artist to feature is David Nash who has a few pieces permanently at Yorkshire Sculpture Park but we have also seen  a massive exhibition of hs work here a few year ago after his year as artist in residence there. Both pieces we saw on this visit are in the woodland with one on the banks of the lake on the shore between the wood and the water.

The first of his works we found was entitled “71 Steps” and it climbed a hillside up through the wooded slope. The first few photos are to set the scene.

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Close by we spotted these beautiful pieces of wood and tree sculpted by Mother Nature and reflected in the water. They were flowing out into the lake.

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The second of the David Nash pieces was closer to the water’s edge between the trees and the biscuit coloured leaves. Just like the steps the wood had been scorched by burning. Sadly the camera on my i Pad couldn’t cope with the contrasts so the beautiful colour of the dried reeds has burnt out.

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On a piece of rough ground close to the lake we came across a builder’s store where old bricks and building stones were being kept whilst work was being completed on an old chapel in the grounds. We couldn’t help but wonder what a good land artist would have created using these pieces! Close by mother Nature had created a piece of her own land art based on a fallen tree.

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Barbara Hepworth’s work is well represented here at the sculpture park as her pieces called the “Family of Man” are displayed most sympathetically on a sloping piece of sparcely planted woodland. On the way to find these pieces we passed this interesting sign where the face of our Labour Party leader had been added. Similar photos of faces had been pasted to trees but the weather had got the better of these.

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I have included some close up photos of a few of the pieces by Barbara Hepworth to show where the hand of the artist has left her marks. I enjoy studying the texture of any piece of sculpture as it can be as important as the overall shape of the work.

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The bark of this tree caught my eye as we moved between the Barbara Hepworth pieces. It was the texture that attracted me and the pattern of diamonds sculpted into the bark. Even the carved graffiti seemed to add to the character of the tree, telling a part of its story.

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You can see from the photo of Jude below that the weather was not making wandering around the site too easy. The ground beneath our feet was very slippery. This meant that when we came to seek out the work of Henry Moore we found it difficult to get to them as the ground was impossible to walk on due to the steep sloping land where they were situated.

But we can enjoy this one piece.

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For part 4 of this week of culture we move on to the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery in the city of Wakefield itself.

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.

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