Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a beautiful, tranquil space that includes magnificent old trees, a lake and wonderful scenery. Our time was limited so we couldn’t explore the whole area instead we investigated the indoor gallery (an exhibition of Joan Miro’s work) and the area around the lake.

I was amused by the Ha-Ha bridge by Brian Fell (2006), which crosses a dip in the landscape. I’d always thought a haha was a dip at the edge of a piece of land providing a boundary without disturbing the view but this one was in an impressive woodland setting where the trees were sculptures in their own right.

It is worth a visit to the Park just to see, or I should say experience, James Turrell’s Deer Shelter (2006). The installation is formed from a former deer shelter and the access from the front is through a banked entrance that resembles a prehistoric long barrow. You then have to enter a small passage and find your way to a chamber with stone seating round its edge and an open roof space, which again feels like entering an ancient sacred space. The stone seating is constructed with a sloping back so you look up to the open sky through the roof. Seeing the sky framed yet moving and shifting is mesmerising and very meditative. Turrell’s aim was to ‘create an experience of wordless thought’ in this ‘Skyspace’ and he has achieved this beautifully.

Our walk down to the lake led us through grazing sheep and past a weir. On the other side of the lake, David Nash’s 71 charred and oiled oak steps looked impressive leading up the hillside but we did not have time to explore them. I feel I only had a quick sample of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, but I was impressed with what I saw and will definitely pay it another visit when I have more time to explore it fully.

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