It’s frequently claimed that the arts and cultural life of the UK revolves around London; that visitors, funding and innovation sit unfairly weighted within the capital. However, there are many incredible attractions outside of the capital, including the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, a hugely rich hub for art and sculpture, but most excitingly the landscape which surrounds it is so integral to its offering, making it uniquely special.
A new visitors’ centre has been built recently, providing a wonderful hub to your visit, with great coffee and a brilliant shop, and therefore somewhere perfect to shelter from any possible inclement weather [not that Yorkshire would ever suffer from that…].
There are a huge variety of sculptures from a number of artists, including Barbara Hepworth, Damien Hirst, and Henry Moore, and we particularly loved some of the more colourful artworks and how they were offset against the slightly grey day. Below is Niki de Saint Phalle’s Buddha:
…and this is Marialuisa Tadei’s Octopus:
Ai Weiwei’s work also stood out for us, particularly the Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, which have returned to the YSP after a world tour.
However, the park is perhaps best known for its collection of Henry Moore pieces. Born round the corner in Castleford, Henry Moore is one of Yorkshire’s most famous children and one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, and in his lifetime often referred to the influence of the West Yorkshire landscape on his development. He visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the 1970s and wished for his work to be displayed here, in this particular part of the park.
His sculptures sit beautifully within the natural landscape, and each seem to benefit from the proximity of the others.
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is absolutely worth the trip; it’s free entry but you will need to pay for parking [if you don’t make use of the local buses]. Dogs are welcome too! It’s truly special to see this stunning artistry ‘without walls’ in the gorgeous Yorkshire landscape.