If you’ve never been to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at West Bretton, just outside Wakefield, Yorkshire, you don’t know what you’re missing. I know I sound like a Tourist Board advert but it honestly is a brilliant day out for all ages.
Set in glorious countryside, the grounds at the YSP are spacious enough to give you a sense of freedom and rejuvination but with the bonus of sculptures and works of art to give it the ‘wow’ factor.
The main exhibition this summer features the Spanish artist Miro. Joan Miró is best known for his bold and colourful abstract paintings such as this one:
Miró image courtesy of Lisa Thatcher’s blog
However, the YSP focus is on Miró’s sculptures. His dream that his sculptures should ‘stand in the open air, in the middle of nature’ has certainly been fulfilled here as you can see from a few pictures I took:
If I’d been bright enough to make note of the labels I’d be able to tell you the name of the sculptures, too!
… Seeing as I didn’t I’ll call this one ‘ET came home’ …
… and I’ll call this one ‘Corkscrew with Attitude’
The exhibition continued in the Underground Gallery. Here, the sculptures were smaller and even more surreal. Unfortunately photography wasn’t allowed, as I found out just after I’d taken a shot of one of the posters in the first gallery and was admonished in a firm but pleasant manner by one of the attendants :
I think we’d better call this one ‘You ain’t seen this’
It’s a shame you can’t see Miró’s signature on the bottom right hand side of the poster more clearly. It’s an eye-catching swoop of a thing; a work of art in itself. One biographical detail that stood out for me was how, as a child, Miró set such store by his after school art lessons he always washed his hands first and approached each brush and pencil as a good surgeon would a scalpel; with respect and gravitas.
If Miró doesn’t float your boat there are plenty of other things to do and see. In my opinion the grounds are worth a visit in themselves and at a mere £5.00 for parking (admission is free) it’s not going to break the bank. The shop is gorgeous as well, with sumptious art house books, ceramics and jewellery to spend your money on.
I liked the stuff by Tatty Devine such as this brooch of an old watch (though the one I saw didn’t have the gilt edging:
The gallery café does great cakes and has an outdoor balcony overlooking Bretton Lake but it was heaving yesterday so we settled for the smaller café in the Old Stable Block. The flapjacks and bakewell slice were highly recommended by Joe and Mr P but I objected to paying £1.50 for a tiny jar of clotted cream to go with my jam and scone. That minor quibble aside you should get yourself down to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at the next opportunity. It’s divine.