Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Late last month we went on a little adventure to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The YSP is an open air gallery of sculpture and hosts works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Anthony Gormley amongst others. These artifacts are dotted around the rolling landscape of Bretton Hall which is home to deer and sheep. The result is a wonderful experience on a day as bright and clear as the Sunday when we went.

Our visit reminded me of how important context is when we view objects. Our experience of the sculptures was entirely different to the one we might have had were they in a more traditional gallery. Moore's work in particular is very landscape-like, so when they is viewed within a larger expanse of terrain their impact is quite stunning. Many of the pieces are cast bronze. Their slightly reflective surfaces caught the colours of the land and sky and, as the air chilled around us, they continued to emit a noticeable warmth as the sun's rays heated the metal.

As well as bronzes the YSP hosts some landscape sculpture too. I very much enjoyed James Turrell's Skyspace - a converted deer shelter which takes on a quality of the interior of a Mayan temple allowing visitors to contemplate the sky they see through a portal in the apex of the ceiling. The room was at once tranquil and moving.


  1. Henry Moore's work has echos of Neolithic mother figures, don't you think? I don't know much about him... perhaps that has been his intention, part of the time at least. Either way, it's great.

  2. Hey phic. Yes, Moore's work definitely has that quality and I am sure he was aware of it. He's a major 20th century artist (as is Hepworth) and, being a Brit, most of my countrymen recognise his name and work.

  3. I used to play on the Moore sculptures as kid in leeds , a nice one in the uni and one in front of the gallery .. would get told off for that now though ;-)

    Can you believe i gave never been to the sculpture park.. i really do need a car sometimes.