Have just had a fascinating day out at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP). I had often driven up the M1 and seen the signs for the YSP and wanted to turn off and visit. This time we made a trip to spend the day there and arrived there in time for the opening at 10am, although already the car parks were getting busy.
The YSP is set among parkland with the sculptures scattered around the large site, through parkland and woodland, which includes an ornamental lake the size of a small reservoir. It is so spaced out that you can roam at will, as do the sheep, and allows time to be at one with the artworks rather than peer at them through crowds. Really special. There are the normal Moore’s and Hepworth’s on display, and it is wonderful to see these in such a pastoral setting. It’s also great that you can touch and feel these artworks to really immerse yourself in appreciation. As we walked along the pathway from the YSP centre we noticed the names stamped in the pathway metalwork, curiously similar to the works of Willem Boshoff, who is currently exhibiting at the YSP, with views away into the distance of the rolling hills.
Mid-way round we stopped off at “The Weston” café and had good food and drink in the light-filled Scandinavian style rectangle of wood and glass. We trailed through the woods to view Alfredo Jaar’s, The Garden of Good and Evil as well as hiking up the “Seventy-One Steps” by David Nash. As we followed and rounded the lake we had differing landscape views of Jaume Plensa’s “Wilsis”, a seven-metre high stone face that stares imperiously out over the lake and countryside. Heading uphill we moved towards the fabulous Henry Moore reclining figures. It is such a great experience to see the scale of these bronzes amid the splendour of the park. Heading up we stopped for more refreshments at the YSP centre, using the second-floor terrace to enjoy the vista’s before browsing in the shop and heading home. As we hadn’t done one whole edge of the grounds or walked up to the third YSP building, the Longside, it looks as though it bears repeat visits, so lucky locals. If you really needed to view all the artworks in one visit you certainly could, you’d just need to do some planning beforehand and get your walking boots out for a very full day.
YSP Visit – For more images.