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  • Writer's pictureAndy Bell

Art and Landscape - visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Just an hour outside of Nottingham set in 500 acres of fields, hills, woodland, lakes and formal gardens sits the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017.

Founded in 1977 by Executive Director Peter Murray, YSP was the first sculpture park in the UK. It's the largest of its kind in Europe, and the only place in Europe to see Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man in its entirety alongside a significant collection of sculpture, including bronzes by Henry Moore, and site-specific works by Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and James Turrell.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park has a world-class, year-round temporary exhibitions programme including some of the world’s leading artists across six indoor galleries and the open air.

It's an independent charitable trust and registered museum situated in the 18th-century Bretton Hall estate. This landscape is not entirely natural but has been carefully designed and managed to look as if it were. It has altered a lot in the last few hundred years, mainly for the families and individuals who have lived and worked on the estate. Many renowned architects have been involved in creating mansions, lodges, glass houses and follies, including John Carr, Jeffry Wyatt, William Atkinson and George Basevi Jnr. Not all of these additional buildings are on the site today, however the landscape you see there was influenced by the work of landscape designers and gardeners, such as Richard Woods and Robert Marnock.


Thursday 12 May, 09:00 - 17:00

This Spring, we’re heading to this beautiful landscape for a walk, talk and make session.

Through questioning, making and drawing during this interactive and sociable session, you’ll develop your sculptural vocabulary as well as your creative and critical thinking skills. There’ll be group led discussions and the chance to experiment with different materials. The theme for the session will be Art and Landscape.

The session around the park will run for two hours, after which we will have lunch together in the garden studio. You can either bring your own lunch or purchase refreshments from the café. After lunch there’ll be free time to explore the shop, park and galleries.

Itinerary for the day -

09:00 - Pick up from the Forest Recreation Ground.

10:00/10:15 - Arrive at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

11:00 - 13:00 - Walk, Talk and Make session

13:00 - 16:00 - Lunch and free time to explore the grounds, shop and galleries

16:00 - Transport back to Nottingham

17:00/17:15 - Arrive back at Forest Recreation Ground

£25 for ArtSpeak Members to cover the activity and transport.

For more information and to book a place click here


Henry Moore -

Henry Moore (1898 –1986) was born in Castleford, a small mining town in Yorkshire.

After training to be a teacher and serving in the British Army he studied at Leeds School of Art and then the Royal College of Art, London.

Moore was a pioneer, and the first British artist to become a global star in his own lifetime. His work came to symbolise post-war modernism and can be said to have caused a British sculptural renaissance. By the 1950s Moore had begun to receive a number of international commissions. He continued working in sculpture, drawing, printmaking and textile design until his death in 1986.

Henry Moore was the first Patron of Yorkshire Sculpture Park and made a promise that there would always be a display of his work there, so close to where he was brought up.

Moore’s large scale sculpture, Large Two Forms can be found in the Country Park in his favourite area of the Bretton Estate, where he enjoyed seeing his sculptures surrounded by sheep.

This colossal sculpture is impressive in scale and composition, appearing very different from every angle. Other works of Moore’s that can be found within the park include Henry Moore: Upright Motives No. 1 (Glenkiln Cross); No. 2; No.7

Andy Goldsworthy –

Andy Goldsworthy is a British Artist born in 1956. He studied fine art at Bradford College of Art and also trained at Preston Polytechnic.

Andy Goldsworthy produces artwork using natural materials, such as flowers, mud, ice, leaves, twigs, pebbles, boulders, snow, thorns, bark, grass and pinecones. Much of his work is made outside and is made for temporary purposes. He photographs the artwork and then allows it to remain in the natural environment and decay at its own rate.

Goldsworthy says he ‘works with nature as a whole’ and sometimes he often doesn’t use man-made tools to produce his sculptures.

Some of Goldsworthy’s permanent work can be found within the Yorkshire Sculpture Park including Hanging Trees, Outclosure and Shadow Stone Fold.

When developing his ideas for Hanging Trees, Andy Goldsworthy intended that the works ‘be about those things we do not see – that demand a physical engagement of the land and which are often missed by those who choose to see the landscape from a fixed point, whether it be a house, window, car, or television’. Goldsworthy chose Oxley Bank as the site for Hanging Trees because it is the dividing boundary between two separate areas of agricultural land.

He suggested that, ‘the tension between tree and wall is evocative of the historical tension between a forested landscape and one which is farmed. A field, cleared of trees, is the site of a battle that has occurred between a farmer and the land’.

Hanging Trees amplifies a dynamic and complex relationship between wood and stone that has long been central to Goldsworthy’s work: stone being traditionally viewed as permanent and trees symbolic of mortal life. (YSP)

Barbara Hepworth -

Barbara Hepworth (1903–1975) was born in Wakefield and was one of the most important artists of the 20th century.

Hepworth was keen for her work to be experienced in the open air, which developed into a lifelong passion. She famously wrote that her work should be ‘allowed to breathe’ outdoors and that she ‘kept on thinking of large works in a landscape: "this has always been a dream in my mind”.

Her works are specifically designed for the outdoors. Her piece Square with Two Circles is one that can be found in the park and it seemingly changes appearance depending on the time of day and year that it's viewed. Sometimes it appears to frame its landscape context, at other times it reflects sunlight and seems almost golden.

Fancy joining us? Book a place now

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