Mark Hearld in YSP Shop

Mark Hearld: Birds & Beasts

December 14, 2012

The new exhibition from artist and designer Mark Hearld is now open in the YSP Centre.

Birds and Beasts showcases Hearld’s practice which stems from a love of the British countryside, curiosity for objects and a magpie approach to collecting. Hearld has taken inspiration from YSP’s 500-acre historic estate and its inhabitant wildlife to create new work.

The Park’s visitor centre and Upper Space gallery are decorated with Hearld’s hand-painted wooden animals; three-dimensional, hand-decorated ceramic hares; collages in hand-painted frames, lino-cuts, and limited edition litho prints. A flock of hand-decorated wooden pigeons hang in the concourse and found objects chosen by the artist feature in a characteristically eccentric window display.

Hearld works closely with skilled craftsmen to realise his ideas, using Curwen Studio in Cambridge to make litho prints and Daniel Bugg at Penfold Press, Selby to produce linocuts. For this latest project, Hearld has established a new relationship with a Stoke-based mould maker to produce a range of limited edition ceramic hares, exclusive to YSP.

Born in 1974 and based in York, Hearld studied illustration at Glasgow College of Art before completing an MA in natural history illustration at the Royal College of Art. His work is now exhibited all over the UK and commissions include set design for 2005 film Nanny McPhee and a range of ceramics for Tate. The exhibition coincides with the publication of a first monographic book, published by Merrell, and the launch of Hearld’s first hand-printed wallpaper for St Jude’s, which recently won an
Elle Decoration Design Award.

In a new short film Mark speaks about what influenced his exhibition at YSP and some of the processes and techniques used to create his unique pieces.

Mark Hearld: Birds & Beasts can be seen at Yorkshire Sculpture Park until 17.02.13



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Barbara Hepworth’s drawings are on display at The Hepworth Wakefield

December 4, 2012

Barbara Hepworth, famously renowned for her abstract sculptural work, exhibits a different side to her practice in the current exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield, Barbara Hepworth:The Hospital Drawings. The collection to date features over 30 works including some making their debut appearance in Wakefield, where her sculptural work is permanently exhibited, fittingly in the city she was born and grew up in.

The drawings of surgical scenes, created through a process using Ripolin Paint and pencil, were made in Post-War Britain during the late 1940’s, and reflect the close connection between art and the surgeon’s expertise, precision and craft. The harmonious nature of the images highlight the craft and concentration in an operating theatre. Such images were produced alongside the launch of the NHS, clearly influential to Barbara Hepworth who supported ideas of social cooperation and the reconstruction of Britain to develop a fairer, more inclusive society.

The drawings are not obviously linked with her more famous sculptural works, though Group1 (concourse) is exhibited alongside the 2D work. From this it is clear that the sculptural qualities of the arrangement of the surgeons correspond with the piece, but maybe more importantly relate to Hepworth’s lifelong study of the human figure in landscape, in this case the landscape being the surroundings of an operating theatre. Group1 (concourse) is one of 3 sculptures within the exhibition, with a large collection of the drawings as a backdrop.

You can see Barbara Hepworth: The Hospital Drawings at The Hepworth Wakefield until the 3 February 2013.

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Liberty and Anarchy : Nike Savvas

November 30, 2012

Leeds Art Gallery is preparing for the colourful launch of ‘Liberty and Anarchy’, the first major UK solo show in over ten years by Australian artist Nike Savvas, which includes the UK premiere of several new works. 

A central installation ‘Liberty and Anarchy’ takes over the largest gallery and involves 18 large screens which hold hundreds of individually placed, taut plastic, brightly coloured ribbons.  The installation can only be fully appreciated in person as it creates a three-dimensional moiré effect. This new, large-scale installation  incorporates panels fixed from the floor to the ceiling, allowing audiences to view the colourful ‘cascade’ of ribbons and the alternating, shimmering colours. 

Savvas, 48, is best known for the internationally acclaimed exhibition ‘Atomic: Full of Love, Full of Wonder’ (2005, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne) in which thousands of brightly coloured polystyrene balls were suspended in the gallery, shimmering gently in the breeze of carefully positioned fans, but which could only be viewed from a distance. Playing with the creation of an all encompassing installation version of a moiré painting, ‘Liberty and Anarchy’ will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the colours, movement and depth which have become synonymous with her installations.

In a second gallery space Savvas premieres eight 3D geometric shapes of varying sizes made from wood, which have only previously been exhibited in her home country.  The shapes, some of which are split open whilst others remain complete, have been designed and crafted according to a meticulously worked mathematical formula. Savvas then uses wool and steel to create her own unique moiré motif on the surfaces of the shapes, a bespoke design which took a year to develop. Alongside these structures, seven moiré black and white paintings use the same mathematic formula, and are in effect, painted representations of the 3D shapes. 

The exhibition opens to the public on Friday 7 December and closes on February 24 2013.

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Leeds Art Gallery reveals its refurbished sculpture galleries

Leeds Art Gallery now has a new exhibition for visitors  to enjoy in its recently refurbished sculpture galleries.

Polychromies: Surface, Light and Colour looks at qualities of surface in bronze, marble and stone sculpture, highlighting embedded, applied and reflected colour.

Following a substantial Arts Council Renaissance National Programme grant to refurbish the sculpture gallery space, this display celebrates and showcases the excellence of the Leeds Museums and Galleries sculpture collection. 

Sculpture has often been considered in opposition to painting, as concerned with form and not with tone and colour. However, all sculpture is coloured in some way, whether it is inherent to the material or applied over the top and has surface effects, revealed by light, which are integral to the perception of the work. 

Works on display include sculptures by Antonio Canova, Auguste Rodin, Alfred Gilbert, John Skeaping, Barry Hart and Elisabeth Frink..

 The Henry Moore Institute curates the Leeds Museums and Galleries’ sculpture collection in partnership with Leeds Art Gallery. For more information about the exhibition, visit


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Peter Liversidge, Everything is Connected, 2012

Get your sculpture fix at Frieze London

October 12, 2012

If you’re down in London this weekend and need a Big Sculpture fix then pop into the Frieze London Sculpture Park in Regent’s Park which is open until Sunday 14 October.

Curated by Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s Director of Programme, Clare Lilley, the park features works by some of the most acclaimed international sculptors working today including Yayoi Kusama, Michael Landy, and Anri Sala.

It’s also the largest-ever presentation of outdoor sculpture at the London art fair which has been been going for 10 years. Watch a video

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New film from artist Simon Pope at YSP

October 4, 2012

This week finally saw the installation of Simon Pope’s new film What Cannot Be Turned Aside in the captivating space of the 18th century Chapel. The YSP site clearly lends itself to the consideration of walking as art practice and I particularly enjoy Simon’s emphasis on the aspects of walking that are typically underplayed in this kind of work, such as talking, negotiation and being together. As Visiting Artist during 2010-11 Simon spent time getting to know the Park and being led on various routes around it by staff and those who know best its secrets and stories. One outcome of his first research period that is particularly special to me is a work he gifted to YSP. This work is a pre-determined walk he took me on that I have to remember and that exists only in my memory and Simon’s. If and when I leave the Park, I have to take my successor on this walk and duly pass its stewardship onto them.

Simon’s new work What Cannot Be Turned Aside is an extension of this earlier research and considers our human relationship with the land as well as engaging with issues around legal land access and usage. Simon shot the film at YSP earlier this year in the pouring rain, which, although cold and uncomfortable at the time, has lent great atmosphere to the finished piece.

Unusually in portrait format, the film follows a local horse and rider walking together through a field at Longside. The untethered horse walks alongside the rider, who tries to keep within the frame, the charged and intense relationship between the pair representing an age-old battle between the unfettered desire to break free and a need for prescriptive structures, as well as revealing the potential to come together in moments of harmony.

The process of working with Simon for me represents one of the exceptional elements of YSP – allowing an artist time to develop ideas in extended dialogue with the site and using it as a test-bed or laboratory for ideas, exploring the meanings of site-specificity, and slowly gaining an understanding that results in grounded and resonant works.

Simon departs YSP to begin a PhD at the Ruskin School of Fine Art at the University of Oxford. I wish him all the best with his studies and look forward to seeing how they will further inform his practice going forward.

Sarah Coulson, Deputy Curator at YSP

Simon Pope: What Cannot Be Turned Aside can be seen at YSP from 06.10.12–04.11.12

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Free Drawing : Sculpture symposium

September 26, 2012

Are you interested to know how drawing and sculpture relate to each other in the world of contemporary art ?

As part of their latest show Drawing : Sculpture  there is a one-day symposium exploring some of the themes raised by the exhibition on Thurs 25 Oct, 11-4pm at Leeds Art Gallery.

Speakers will include artists Sara Barker, Martin Boyce, Aleana Egan, writers Anna Lovatt, Lucy Steed.

 The event is FREE but booking is essential as places are limited. Contact us on 0113 247 8256 or email [email protected] for more details.

 Drawing : Sculpture is a partnership between Drawing Room and Leeds Art Gallery


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Drawing : Sculpture at Leeds Art Gallery

September 17, 2012

We are delighted that Drawing : Sculpture opened on Friday at Leeds Art Gallery. It was a busy opening weekend with lots of enquiries for the symposium to accompany the exhibition that we will hold on Thursday 25th October. The galleries look very minimal but seductive with fine lines and dramatic scales drawing the eye in towards detailed surfaces.

During the last week we have had several artists installing their work and it is always satisfying to see the different components come together and finally become an exhibition with art works that you have only seen on screen becoming real.

The exhibition includes work from the Leeds Art Gallery’s permanent collection displayed alongside work by seven contemporary artists. It explores the language of sculpture and drawing and how they work together or run in parallel. Mobiles by Alexander Calder and Lynn Chadwick from the mid 20th century present Modernist conceptions of ‘drawing in space’. These skeletal structures, made from wire and thin plates of metal, depart from the traditional concept of the art work as a static object and incorporate ideas, which are embedded in drawing, of motion and change and of form liberated from mass.

Sixty years later Martin Boyce and Alice Channer create works that reference such historical pieces but have suggestions of the material world, and are both abstract and expressive. Throughout the galley the line or sculptural forms create shadows and cast light on fine surfaces. Artists Lynn Chadwick, Barry Flanagan, and Eva Rothschild harness the primeval associations of drawing, using hieroglyphic symbols to create totemic objects, a grid scratched onto slate or a spiral etched into clay and perfect geometrical shapes cut into plastic and transposed one over another. The show feels graphic and monochrome but colour is present in Aleana Egan’s humble materials with folds in rich red and dark blue.

Accompanying the exhibition are a range of activities in our interactive Artspace from making mobiles to drawing from sculptures or on clear Perspex enabling visitors of all ages to engage in a fun way with the ideas in the exhibition. Our shop hasn’t been left out either, with some great gift ideas including mobiles which evoke the spirit of the show.

Pick up a gallery booklet with an essay by Anna Lovatt or download a copy from our website.

We hope you enjoy the exhibition.


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Luke Fowler


September 14, 2012

Luke Fowler’s latest film at The Hepworth Wakefield looks at education, politics and the life of post-war educationalist and cultural critic, E.P. Thompson.

His exhibition gives visitors a chance to assess his work before he joins Spartacus Chetwynd, Paul Noble and Elizabeth Price at this year’s Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain next month. If he is successful, Luke Fowler will be the fourth artist in a row from Glasgow to win.

This year’s Turner Prize judges include Andrew Hunt of the Focal Point Gallery in Southend-on-Sea, Heike Munder from the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, and Michael Stanley of Modern Art Oxford. They will announce the winning artist at Tate Britain in London on 3 December.

Born in 1978 in Glasgow, Luke Fowler creates cinematic collages. The new work he is showing at The Hepworth Wakefield, The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott focuses on the work of the Marxist historian Edward Palmer Thompson, who, from 1946, was employed by the Workers’ Education Association (WEA) to teach literature and social history to adults in the industrial towns of the West Riding. These classes provided education to people who had been historically unable to access a university education.

Like E.P. Thompson, many progressive educationalists wanted to use their teaching to create ‘revolutionaries’ and pursue the original WEA values of delivering a ‘socially purposeful’ education. The film captures a moment of optimism, in which E.P. Thompson’s radical ideas came together with those of the West Riding and its existing tradition of political resistance and activism.

Fowler’s new commission is the result The Hepworth Wakefield and Wolverhampton Art Gallery jointly winning the Contemporary Art Society‘s Commission to Collect award. It will be the first moving image work to be acquired by the Wakefield permanent art collection, which is held by The Hepworth Wakefield.

 Luke Fowler’s new work can be seen at The Hepworth Wakefield, until 14 October. It is on alongside Artist Rooms: Richard Long. Open Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm, admission is free

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Hello from the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds

September 4, 2012

Hello, Big Sculpture fans! I’m writing from the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds city centre which was set up as part of the Foundation created by Castleford-born artist Henry Moore, whose preliminary art education was in Leeds. The story goes that Moore once visited Leeds Central library as a student looking for books on sculpture and was met with the acerbic response “What is sculpture?”

This question is really what I love about the Institute. Not only does it question what sculpture is, and how it can be defined, but it sets out the role of the gallery to engage with its visitors and help them to question “What is sculpture?” We don’t have a collection, but we curate the sculpture displays at Leeds Art Gallery and the temporary exhibitions in our main galleries, which change three times a year. Come and see what we have to offer because it is constantly changing. From Ice-Age to contemporary and everything in-between. I’d suggest combining it with a visit to Leeds Art Gallery as we’re connected via a bridge link. Start with us and walk through to their sculpture collections. It is the sculpture street of Leeds!

The current exhibition, a solo show by the British artist Sarah Lucas, sets out to reposition the artist, who until recently was most well-known for her exploits as a Young British Artist in the early 1990s. It is curated by our Head of Sculpture Studies, Lisa Le Feuvre. Sarah Lucas is an artist who gleefully queries the history of art. The sculptures displayed at the Institute demonstrate this by their soft classical curves; their abstract forms – reminiscent of a Henry Moore or Barbara Hepworth artwork- and their archeological detail which harks back to earlier Natural History display methods. It’s both a serious and hilarious exhibition which at the same time as being a part of art history simultaneously seeks to turn it on its head!

Furthermore, the Institute is internationally recognised as being at the forefront of art and art history research so our programme is developed to reflect this. We have a sculpture research library and archive of sculptors’ papers. There are numerous academic events and symposia throughout the year, but also a series of free talks – which are open to everyone- with every main exhibition. It is also possible to prearrange FREE guided tours of every exhibition. If your group, school or university would like tailored talk about our shows by one of our very knowledgeable gallery assistants, please contact our Educational Tour Co-ordinator Matthew Merrick on 0113 246 7467.

You can’t miss our striking black marble façade on The Headrow, next to Leeds Art Gallery. We’d love to chat with you about sculpture, and find out what you think of our latest show.
-Tara Sibson, Communications Department

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