Friday 3 September 2010

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

I already mentioned that on the journey home from Leeds last weekend we stopped off in Wakefield to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. We had noticed the signpost on the way too Leeds on Friday so thought it would be a nice idea to visit on the way home on Sunday.

The park is set in 500 acres of 18th Century parkland where sheep roam free amongst an abundance of sculptures, which are scattered all over the site. Seeing as we arrived at 3pm we didn't have time to explore the whole site but what we did see was beautiful. We paid particular attention to the David Nash exhibition where his work was exhibited in several galleries and across the park.

David Nash is a British artist who has the ability to transform the shape of nature and control its growth. By this I mean that over the past 40 years he has been slicing into trees, cutting out sections and making holes in branches so that they grow in a contorted manner and their branches twist in and out of each other. Through the exhibition of sketches, videos and wooden sculptures you can see how David Nash has made his imagination has been transformed from little drawings into real life works of art. Through his ability to manipulate the growth of tress he has created dooms in the forest that look almost ritualistic yet strangely beautiful and enchanting. He has created sculptures from burnt wood and made charcoal drawings so that the objects appear to have jumped out from the walls. Eucalyptus wood has been crafted into the most beautiful shapes in such a fashion that every groove and score Nash makes can be seen, whilst still making the piece appear effortless yet magnificent.

I particularly loved the videos and sketches showcasing his work since the 1970s so that the progression of his wooden doom can be seen.

As tress first started as small upright poles they grew more contorted and twisted as the years progressed and Nash cut into them. Now the trees are fully conjoined creating a magnificent looking doom which in the winter looks eerie and dead compared to it's full of green life in the summer making it perfect for child's play.

We weren't allowed to take photos inside the galleries where a lot of his sculptures were displayed however I did buy a nice little book showcasing a lot of his work.

Another area of his work I loved included the pyramids, spheres and cubes.

These were sculptures of the same three burnt shapes with complimentary paintings making them appear to have been created from the painting itself. The book I bought contains many of these sculptures Nash has created from all over the world, all made in wood and all representing the same thing...

Pyramids rise, Spheres turn and Cubes stand still... The sense of the Cube is solid unmoving representing Matter. The sense of the Sphere is one of movement turning representing Time. The sense of the Pyramid is rising expanding representing Time... David Nash 2005

I'm not really that 'arty' but even I can understand this poem!!!

So, I'm sure you'd like to see some photos now. I have some from the David Nash expo and some from other random sculptures scattered over the site but I stupidly didn't write down any details so I'm not sure who made them

Black Step by David Nash

This reminds me of a group of people carol singing OR pencil tops by David Nash

Glass house full of herbs and plants but they all look the same when they first start growing

A big old sphere and some beautiful views of Yorkshire by David Nash

Sculptures and sheep live in peace

Walking amongst the sheep and their poo!!!

As I sad before there is so much to see and its recommended that you take at least 3-4 hours to see EVERYTHING! I loved all the art inside, which we couldn't snap but the sculptures outside are equally as stunning and look great against the beautiful English country side backdrop. This is a place I definitely recommend you visit if you are ever in the Leeds area, especially if it's a nice day and you can take a picnic along to eat in the gardens. It's fun walking amongst the sheep and nowhere nearly as scary as I though it would be (I had images in my head of being chased...) plus IT'S FREE ENTRY which is mental considering how much there is too see!!!

All in all a fantastic day trip even if we did only get to spend 2 hours wondering around, getting lost and nearly dying as we walked up a massive hill.......

In other exciting news, yesterday I picked up Mooey the bunny from my cousin's house where she is now happily living in our garden and is completely adorable. Pictures to come soon but check out my twitter for some quick snaps.

Have a good weekend everyone x

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