Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture that sets out to challenge, inspire, inform and delight.
Changing exhibitions and projects are sited in 500 acres of historic gardens and parkland, five indoor galleries and an award-winning visitor centre.
This stunning setting brings together art and nature for everyone to discover and enjoy.
Summer: 10am-6pm Centre, Shop, Restaurant + Galleries 10-5pm.
Winter: 10am-5pm Centre, Shop, Restaurant + Galleries 10-4pm.
Closed: 24+25 December
Admission free / Parking charges apply
YSP is a charity. Your parking fee supports everything we do.
Mobility Scooters are available on free loan. Call 01924 832631 to reserve a scooter.
YSP has eight distinct outdoor 'gallery' spaces located in the 500 acre Bretton Estate. Designed in the 18th and 19th centuries, this varied landscape is a rich environment for some of the best modern and contemporary sculpture created by international artists. YSP presents changing special exhibitions and individual works by eminent artists all year round, so there are always at least 40 sculptures on display in the landscape.
Temporary indoor exhibitions take place in the Underground Gallery, Bothy Gallery, Garden Gallery and Longside Gallery.
Key artists and exhibits
- Henry Moore
- Barbara Hepworth
- Anthony Caro
- Elisabeth Frink
- Sol LeWitt
- Antony Gormley
- Sophie Ryder
- Winter and Horbelt
- Andy Goldsworthy
- James Turrell
Tony Cragg: A Rare Category of Objects
- 4 March — 3 September 2017 *on now
The biggest UK exhibition to date by leading sculptor Tony Cragg. New sculptures, drawings and works drawn from nearly five decades of Cragg’s practice will survey and demonstrate the artist’s pioneering and continued mastery of materials in the Underground Gallery and open air.
A ‘radical materialist’, Cragg defines sculpture as a ‘rare category of objects’, and takes a taxonomic approach to his own practice, something which is reflected in the exhibition. The wit and will to analyse the properties of all of the planet’s resources and use them to make new things is unique to human beings, along with the intuition to sort, order and categorise the things that exist and that we bring into existence.
Cragg’s extraordinary career has its roots in a fascination for, and exploration of, the possibilities of the material world, which he considers to be ‘the huge storeroom [in which] lie the keys to essential processes and explanations of our existence’. Cragg’s artistic practice developed from drawings he made to document experiments whilst working as a lab technician at the National Rubber Producers Research Association (1966–68). He went on to study at London’s Wimbledon School of Art and the Royal College of Art and during two summer vacations worked nightshifts in a foundry that manufactured components for engines. The combination of art and the experience of the physical transformation of materials through industrial processes is the cornerstone of Cragg’s practice.
- Family friendly
Ai Wei Wei: Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads
- 1 April 2017 — 22 April 2018 *on now
See Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads in Lower Park until 22 April 2018. Ai reinterpreted the 12 bronze heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac that once adorned the famed fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan, the imperial summer palace retreat in Beijing. Ransacked in 1860 during the Second Opium War by the British and French, only seven of the original heads have been returned to China – the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, horse, monkey, and boar. The locations of the other five – dragon, snake, goat, rooster, and dog – are still unknown. Central to Ai’s reimagined zodiac is the metamorphosis provoked by expulsion, migration, and deliberate change of location undergone by people and objects alike. In 2015, Ai was awarded the Ambassador of Conscience Award by Amnesty International.
Cast in bronze and standing three metres high, the sculptures each weigh 363kg. Through the re-interpretation of the heads on a larger scale, Ai comments and encourages debate on the politics of ownership, cultural history, repatriation and authenticity. The artist also wanted the work to be playful and accessible to the general public: "I want this to be seen as an object that doesn't have a monumental quality, but rather is a funny piece… people can relate to or interpret on many different levels, because everybody has a zodiac connection".
- Family friendly
Zak Ové: Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness
- 8 April 2017 — 3 June 2018 *on now
This spring, we welcome an extraordinary assembly of 80 sculptures by British-Trinidadian artist Zak Ové.
Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness, a mass of identical two-metre-tall figures, is a striking statement within the Park’s 18th century landscape. Powerful and totemic, the impact of the group is amplified through their repeated forms, facing forward to confront the viewer en masse.
The installation builds on Ové’s 2016 project for the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair which saw 40 figures sited in the courtyard of London’s Somerset House. In this location, the installation directly referenced Ben Jonson’s play The Masque of Blackness, which was enacted by Anne of Denmark and members of her court at Somerset House in 1605. Featuring white actors in blackface, the play was reflective of the societal shift towards a preference for lighter skin in the early 17th century. Ové also alludes to Ralph Ellison’s acclaimed novel The Invisible Man, a pioneering consideration of racism and marginalised communities in America told through the eyes of its black protagonist.
- Family friendly
- 22 April 2017 — 4 May 2018 *on now
British sculptor Phyllida Barlow has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, and represents Britain in the 2017 Venice Biennale. Alongside her artistic practice, she has had an important influence on younger generations of artists through over 40 years of teaching in London art schools.
Commonly known for her colossal sculptural projects, Barlow uses 'a distinctive vocabulary of inexpensive materials such as plywood, cardboard, plaster, cement, fabric and paint' to create striking sculptures.
Since the late 1960s, Barlow has developed a sculptural practice that is grounded in an anti-monumental tradition. Her often brightly coloured sculptures are made of readily available materials such as cardboard, cement and plaster, polystyrene, timber and paint. These inexpensive materials are then transformed through layering, accumulation and careful combination to create large-scale pieces.
“Obtrusive and invasive, Barlow’s large-scale sculptural objects are frequently arranged in complex installations in which mass and volume seem to be at odds with the space around them. Their role is restless and unpredictable: they block, interrupt, intervene, straddle and perch, both dictating and challenging the experience of viewing.” Her constructions are often crudely painted in industrial or synthetic colours, resulting in abstract, seemingly unstable forms.
- Family friendly
Tread Softly: An Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme exhibition
- 27 May — 3 September 2017 *on now
Many of the works within the exhibition exist in a place where fact and fiction blur and where fantasy melds with memory, affected by both time and distance. Negotiating and defining identity is a momentous journey, with early experiences leaving indelible marks on our characters, as fragile dreams are pitted against the sometimes painful ingress of the adult world.
Powerful works by Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry reveal how art was ultimately a salvation amidst difficult circumstances, Perry’s Mad Kid’s Bedroom Wall Pot stating “I got out ‘coz I could paint”. Other works consider the way in which fragments of experience linger in the memory, like a perfume that triggers highly personal reminiscences.
Photographs by Fiona Crisp and Nigel Shafran recall family caravan holidays at the seaside and present the emotionally charged everyday objects left in a room by a departed father. Mary Kelly’s iconic Post-Partum Document and Mona Hatoum’s Measures of Distance also scrutinise the parent-child relationship, bringing intensely private and quietly moving moments that are often unseen and take place silently in the home, into the public gaze.
Tread Softly also features new commission Shame Chorus (2017) by Jordan McKenzie, a work originally conceived as a live performance that explores memory, sexuality, community and catharsis though collective action and singing. Renowned psychoanalyst Dr Susie Orbach conducted interviews with members of the London Gay Men's Chorus, exploring early, formative experiences of shame and coming out. Giving voice to often-internalised feelings, their stories were then set to music by leading musicians and composers (Billy Bragg, Leo Chadburn, Shane Cullinan, David McAlmont, Verity Susman and Jack White) and words with narrative texts by London-based writer Andy White.
Other artists featured in the exhibition are Vanley Burke, Tarik Chawdry, Saad Qureshi, Kathy Prendergast, Marion Coutts, Susan Hiller, Permindar Kaur, Bedwyr Williams, Dennis Morris and Jo Spence.
- Family friendly
Still Looking: Mindfulness and art
- 8 August 2017 11am-1pm
A new way to take a bit of time out for yourself and enjoy experiencing art mindfully. Learn how to use mindfulness practices to move from being a passive observer to more active engagement with artworks in the galleries and the open air – and if that’s not enough of a treat it’s all rounded off with tasty refreshments and time to share your experiences (or keep them to yourself if you prefer!)
Quotes from participants:
‘An extraordinary experience that should be offered to all!’
‘Such a positive experience, becoming calmer and more mindful I was ready to look and see sculpture in a more meaningful way.’
Art and Social for over 55s
- 31 August 2017 2-4pm
Join us for tea or coffee and cake, followed by a look around the exhibitions, a gentle walk, or perhaps a drawing or making activity – you tell us what you like and we’ll try to make it happen. Whether you come alone or with a friend, we guarantee a warm welcome!
- Not suitable for children
- 2 August 2017 11am-12pm
Meet Monkey, Rabbit, Ox and friends and participate in an animal escapade with storyteller Oksana Tyminska. Have your animal voices ready to squawk and squeak, and join us as we hoppity skip, wriggle and roll near the Zodiac Heads by Ai Weiwei in Lower Park.
- 7 August 2017 1-2:30pm
- 14 August 2017 1-2:30pm
- 21 August 2017 From 1pm
Discover and identify these tiny creatures that have made YSP their home. Once discovered draw your minibeasts and notice how they move, scuttle and crawl.
Wire Bird Making Workshop with Chris Moss
- 12 August 2017 10am-4pm
During this workshop, you'll learn basic wire techniques and tools and discover how to use them to create your own scribbly wire wren, sparrow or robin. You'll have the opportunity to develop your ideas further during the day and with Chris' support and encouragement, create your own handmade flock of small birds, decorated with coloured wire and other accessories. The skills acquired on the day will enable you to continue to explore your creative ideas at home. This workshop is suitable for complete beginners.
Recharge: Yoga Retreat
- 27 August 2017 10am-4pm
Melt away all your aches, pains, relax your furrowed brow and revive your energy in this special monthly yoga day. The classes will focus on different yoga styles, followed by a delicious lunch and a nourishing afternoon activity – perhaps walking, looking at exhibitions, making art or meditation.
- Not suitable for children
Exhibition Walk and Talk with Artist Rana Begum
- 14 September 2017 6:30-7:45pm
Explore Occasional Geometries: Rana Begum Curates the Arts Council Collection after normal opening hours with the Artist and Guest Curator in the gallery as she discusses her practice and her inspiration behind the exhibition. The event is introduced by YSP Senior Curator Dr Helen Pheby.
Parlour Pastimes: Paper Flower Arranging with Alice Pattullo
- 16 September 2017 10am-4pm
Alice will introduce different mark-making and print techniques which can be used to produce patterned and textured papers to collage together and work into to make your flowers.
Alice will provide a selection of reference material, to introduce different stylistic approaches to interpreting the flower, from images of patchwork quilts, old gardening books, Victorian scraps and botanical papercuts. You may want to look at the plants in the YSP grounds to work from, or bring your own flowers or images to inspire you.
Alice’s constant inspiration from the stories/ history behind topics could be taken heed of here by looking at the tradition of floriography which allocates a sentiment or meaning to each flower, so that a coded message could be sent with a bouquet in a time when a young woman couldn’t interact in the world without a chaperone.
No need for strong drawing skills - your flowers can be interpreted as literally or abstract as you like depending on your confidence. Pre-made templates can be used to draw around to apply your own decoration to.
Jaume Plensa: Artist Talk
- 11 November 2017 7-8:15pm
Plensa first exhibited at YSP as part of Artranspennine in 1998, showing his bronze sculpture Personal Miraculous Fountain (1993–4) in the Camellia House. He returned to stage one of YSP’s most successful shows in 2011, which was also his first significant UK exhibition
In celebration of this important year, YSP now welcomes a beautiful new seven-metre-high cast iron sculpture Wilsis (2016), overlooking the historic lakes at YSP.
Don't miss this exciting chance to hear one of the most respected and renowned sculptors working today.
YSP Members £8.00
Artist-led group activities
Over many years YSP has organised and developed a range of artist-led activities aimed at providing an enhanced focus and stimulus for visiting pupils and students. Activities are available for groups of all ages and abilities and include; workshop/study days, guided tours, slide talks and lectures, and Inset/professional training days. All activities can provide a general introduction to sculpture or can be tailored to meet individual group interests.
How to obtain
All visits must be booked with YSP Education. For visits for artist-led activities please book well in advance to avoid disappointment. For further information on activities, costs, and availability please contact Education on 01924 830642.
Education Resource Packs
In addition to free information, YSP Education offers Resource packs to assist teachers and groups leaders in planning visits to YSP or for work in school. The Education Resource Pack (£10+VAT) includes supporting material exploring the outdoor collection, Access Sculpture Trail and other areas. The Curriculum Resource Pack (£5+VAT) provides support for QCA guidelines which can be used for long-distance learning and work in schools as well as for visits to YSP.
How to obtain
For free information or to order Education resource pack please contact Education on 01924 830642
Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s new team of Heritage Volunteers will be leading free, guided heritage tours around the YSP landscape at weekends from February. Tours will take visitors from the YSP Visitor Centre, into the fascinating, historical landscape, and will explore the stories that have defined the area over the last one thousand years.
- Yorkshire Sculpture Park
How to obtain
Tours are free and start at 2:00pm on the Visitor Centre concourse
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Learning & Community