Sunday, July 15, 2007

15 July: YSP

That's the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. We'd been there once before, years ago, and enjoyed it, and thought it was about time to go and have another look.

There is an exhibition of Andy Goldsworthy stuff on at present, till the end of the year.

You are probably aware of the window daubed with cow dung; no photography inside, but this is it from the outside-

This gallery is on the opposite side of the valley from the main part of the Park. A pleasant walk across a bridge and up through fields takes you to the Longside Gallery. (There is access from a road on that side as well.) Then a path takes you back to the main Park along the top of Oxley Bank, which gives wonderful views over the surrounding countryside.

There are more Goldsworthy structures in the woods along Oxley Bank. This is one of three which go deep into the ground, called Hanging Trees -

From our long-ago visit, I remembered a water buffalo by Elisabeth Frink. None of her animals now, but several men on a terrace near the Underground Gallery; I liked the position of this one, under the cedar tree -

The Underground gallery has more Goldsworthys - a room plastered with mud, which is cracking as it dries out; a room with a hanging curtain of horse chestnut stalks pinned together with some sort of thorns; a room with several low stone igloo-type mounds, with holes in the top; a huge shape made from odd bits of oak branches (rather like a 12 foot tall pine cone); and a room which initially seemed totally black till you entered and found yourself in a structure of branches like an igloo, curving in till they make a complete shape - very satisfying.

Out in the Park, down near the lake was this granite piece, "Warts and All" -

Again, a very satisfying shape and texture.

One area has several pieces by Barbara Hepworth, which are all interesting shapes and textures, but most were undergoing repairs to the surrounding turf and had red and white plastic tape round them - keeps you off the new turf, but rather spoils the photos!

In one of the little copses is a bridge over a ditch. The ditch isn't quite a ha-ha, but that's the name of the bridge.

There is one of those Skyspace structures in the Park, called the Deer Shelter. Set in the hillside, you enter at the lowest level and the inner room, which is actually underground, is open to the sky in the middle. Supposed to be a place for quiet contemplation, when we went in, 2 toddlers were screaming round and round the built in stone seating. After they had gone out with their father, we remained with their mother, who was feeding a small baby, and enjoyed the clouds.

And in the open parkland, surrounded by sheep, are a number of Henry Moore sculptures. This one, a woman in a rumpled dress, has a wonderful view out over the valley.

A great day out, thoroughly recommended. There's lots more to see than I've mentioned, and of course there's a shop and a cafe, though we took a picnic (picnic areas are also available).

On the way back, there was a jam on the motorway because it was closed up ahead by an accident. But we have a map and we're not afraid to use it, so when we could leave the motorway, we travelled along some of the smaller side roads of that part of Yorkshire, seeing villages and countryside we would never otherwise go through.

It took a bit longer to get home, but we weren't in a hurry, and the little unplanned detour added to the pleasure of the day out.


KAZ said...

This sounds great Stitch - and not a drop of rain. Is it the one near Wakefield?

Kev always hands me the map when we're stuck in a jam - I panic immediately.

Z said...

It'd be a bit more than a day out for me, which is a pity as it looks great. It'll go on the list of places to visit one day though.