Monday, 6 June 2011

A day out in Yorkshire

Fed up of the same old Sheffield scenery, I decided to have a day out in Bretton near Huddersfield on Saturday.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park (affectionately known as YSP to the locals) is one of my favourite places to go in the summer but I haven't been in about 5 years. I love to go and spread a blanket on the grass by one of the sculptures and have a picnic surrounded by the sheep.

The park is in the grounds of Bretton Hall, a lovely old building with gardens of rhododendrons, lavender, azalea and other seasonal flowers.

It's surrounded by rolling hills and old woods. And just placed here and there are lots of sculptures. Most are attractive, flowing and curvaceous and considerate of their surroundings, often using their own form to frame a section of the view behind.

Some, however, just seem to scream 'I do not belong here, I belong on a skip' like the 4 metal poles with toilets and old dogs kennels hanging off them.

I think the bad ones are deliberately bad; the artist's way of reminding us that we are all making a mess of our landscape... or it could just be the creation of a mad man who likes to think he's an artist? Just a thought.

There is a collection of giant rabbits with human features such as hands and feet (including the big voluptuous female above). One of them, the big male rabbit was made from a conglomeration of old machine parts - cogs, nuts, bolts and so on.

There is also an underground exhibition centre which I particularly enjoyed this visit. It is currently exhibiting the work of Jaume Plensa a spanish artist who has displayed work all over the world. In the words of YSP: "Plensa's sculpture gies physical form to the intangible, using the body as a way of exploring what it means to be human and engaging with universal themes: love, memory, language and despair." Well, it didn't really do that for me but I did enjoy looking at them.

His exhibition was made up of four rooms and a long walk way.

My favourite was the curtain of poetry in the walk way made from steel letters suspended by wire from the ceiling. As people walk past, their gentle humanly breeze makes the curtain tinkle like a wind chime.

The other rooms were pitch dark with eery looking, white illuminated heads protruding from the ground and bodies looking down on you from the ceiling.

They had the words of Jaume's theme emblazended on them, either covering their eyes or mouths or just somewhere on their bodies.

Inside the main building leading to the shop he had people from all different professions hanging from the ceiling with a plume of words coming from them like smoke from a chimney.

Outside was more of his work. A seated pair on a hill made up of all the letters of the alphabet.

A group of people outside the centre made from words from all different languages.

And two heads made of chicken wire on top of the exhibition centre, watching over all of the visitors.

I really should try and get to the park more often, they regularly have new exhibits and in the summer months, it's a great place to go and relax. I'll make sure I take sun tan lotion next time though - although the weather was cold and overcast, I've still managed to get (I think the worst I've ever had) sunburn right across my shoulders!

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes the overcast days are the worst for burns because of the reflections.

    I am not one for any modern art..I believe any one can make something strange and make up a weird story or theme to go along with it and call it art. And some people love the shock value of nasty and crude things so that works well for them. Ugh!! I do like the chicken wire heads, very interesting. xo