On 19th March 2016, Connie and I went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park for the first time. I underestimated the sheer size of the park so we arrived with only a few hours before closing time assuming we would make it round the park with time for coffee and cake in the cafe before leaving. Unfortunately we never made it to the art gallery on the far side of the park, it is at least a mile away, uphill, and we may have been too late for the cafe. Art is a vital part of a healthy, free society; but so is coffee and cake.

They have a large number of permanent as well as temporary pieces from some very high profile artists (My definition of high profile is if I have heard of them). When we visited the temporary exhibits were by KAWS and Bill Viola. The KAWS exhibition was certainly striking with huge cartoon like characters looming over the viewers with cryptic messages written at the base of each statue. We didn’t manage to decipher the meaning of the tags fully but they definitely stimulated much discussion. There are a few pictures of the them in this gallery of images I took that day:

Bill Viola’s exhibition was in the chapel, a small stone building visibile in the background of the the last photo above (the rusted tree in the foreground of those pictures is by Ai Weiwei incidentally). It was a projection that must have been at least 4m high which featured two videos based on the characters of Tristan and Isolde. No photography was permitted in the chapel, but I have found this video of one half, Tristan’s Ascension, which gives you an idea of what it was like:

I would thoroughly recommend the sculpture park to anyone who is even vaguely interested. However it is huge so make sure to give yourself enough time! They are open all year round from 10:00 to 17:00 and entry is free of charge but you will have to pay up to £8.00 for car parking if you drive. Full details are available on their website here: www.ysp.co.uk

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