While showing a friend around Yorkshire, along with Bronte country, Peak District, Hebdom Bridge, York and the art/music scene of Sheffield, a must see for anyone visiting Yorkshire is the Sculpture Park.
Sitting in amongst the beautiful countryside of West Bretton, sat inbetween West and South Yorkshire is one of the finest outdoor collection of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore sculptures out there; where they work best, in and amongst the trees and sheep!
The relativley new building which incorporates vistors/conference centre, a fantastic art shops selling work by local artists and a wonderful gallery space.
A temporary exhibition by Catalan artist, Jaume Plensa, known for public installations fills the gallery space beautifully. It is the perfect kind of exhibition for a park that attracts as many people who aren’t interested in art as those that are. The exhibits don’t get a ‘that’s not art’ responce like many do, but are involving, thought provoking in a positive way and blend in wonderfully the landscape, which is the main reason why locals visit. Exhibits are interactive and vistors are encouraged to engage and touch and ultimately, it is the kind of place that will turn people onto art; especially children.
The sculpture trail that surrounds the old college site, is the same trail that has been there for at least fifteen years. It has aged well. The fact that some of the old tree house and stone wall sculptures have become a little delapidated, gives it more charm I feel; which was something I wasn’t expected.
For me, I spent four years studying at YSP and was more than family with the trail, so for me it brought back lots of memories, but as I watch families interact, it was interesting to see people view this for the first time.
The park does it’s job perfectly well and is a perfect way to spend two, three or four hours. The only downside for me was seeing how the beautiful olf college site, the old Bretton Hall mansion has become work and tired in the few years it has now been empty. Red tape surrounds the building and security vans.
However, I can’t imagine many other people will notice this. For me it was a big part of my life and I was probably serching for something that ended up not being there. However, I found a whole lot more and highly recomend it to all.
I must also add, the staff are wonderful. But I would expect nothing less in the north!
Check out this great video about the YSP.