Yorkshire Sculpture Park – Art in the Open

Yorkshire Sulkpture Park -marc-quinn-wilder-shores-of-desire-2011-photo-a-jonty-wilde
Image – Marc Quinn – Wilder Shores of Desire 2011 Photo ©Jonty Wilde


Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The name say’s it all. Most people know that Manchester isn’t in Yorkshire, and also that here at Beesblogs we concentrate mainly on the Manchester art scene. But….as far as I know, we don’t currently have anything like the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.(YSP)

It’s fair to say we have some tremendous sculpture at Manchester’s museums and galleries; but after a recent visit, on what was a great weather day too, I have to give YSP a great thumbs up! With modern and contemporary sculptures from Barbara Hepworth, KAWS, Anthony Gormley, Henry Moore, and the only Sol LeWitt sculpture in a British Landscape open to the public, Anya Gallaccio (who recently completed a commission for The Whitworth, Manchester), Joan Miro, and Not Vital (pronounced vee tahl) on show mainly outside, but also some in purpose built gallery space if you are into sculpture then a visit is a must.

At about an hours car drive from Manchester, depending on your location, and located close to Wakefield YSP was easy to find. Plenty of parking and a purpose built visitor centre with café/restaurant, conference space and reception which has maps and visitor information available greets the new visitor. In what also appears to be a shift from the conventional paying for parking. YSP does not charge an entry fee, although you can donate as you can in most public galleries, but you pay instead for parking. At £8.00 for the day it’s very reasonable, especially for a family or a car full of adults.

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Not Vital – Let 100 Flowers Bloom 2008 Stainless Steel c320cm each. Courtesy the artist & YSP photo -Â ©Jonty Wilde


One particular artists exhibit I must comment upon is that of Not Vital.

YSP are presenting the first major exhibition and largest project to date by the Swiss artist. There are some new works which he has developed for YSP’s indoor and outdoor spaces. Along with these is a selection from the last 30  years of his career. Whilst his work is inevitably linked to the tiny village of Sent, in the Swiss Alps, it is also formed through a life of global travel (He is currently working in the Philippines, Beijing, Indonesia, Brazil and Patagonia)

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Image -Not Vital. Moon 2015 Stainless Steel 320cm. Courtesy the artist and YSP. Photo -© Jonty Wilde


The above image Moon 2015 is stunning from any angle, and presents a challenge to photograph without getting reflections of the photographer, and is  made from stainless steel. I’m always in awe of the work that goes into making such works of art. Vital works with craftsmen around the world, including steel-chasers in Beijing, glass blowers in Murano, Tuareg silversmiths in Agadez, and ceramicists in Jingdezhen.

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Image: Not Vital with Moon 2015 Courtesy the artist and YSP photo-©-jonty-wilde


The artist also has a project which is giving help in a rather unusual way. In the 1980’s Vital went to Nepal and saw that dung was being used for fuel. He saw that there were many examples of children who had  injuries from the fires and that also the local hospital didn’t have a burns unit. Cast in Bronze, 80 Cow Dungs (1990 -) raises natural countryside waste to art. (There are examples of the cast bronze “Cow Dungs” which can be seen from the reception area ) Started in the 80’s and with an edition of 1000 the income generated from sales of the “dungs” has created a specialist unit which is still running today with profits from the edition, which is nearly complete, continuing to support the unit. Although very worthy and philanthropic, I’ve not taken photographs of the “Cow Dung” leaving you to imagine for yourself.

I wasn’t able to see the entire park and exhibits, there were just too many. Far from being disappointed I’m looking forward to my next visit. You should always leave something to go back for; and I will certainly be returning to Yorkshire Sculpture Park very soon.

The Not Vital Exhibition is on until 2nd January 2017


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Image – Barbara Hepworth Square with two circles 1963 Courtesy YSP – Photograph ©jonty-wilde