Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Celebrating its 40th birthday this year, I can't believe I've never been to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park before given its close proximity to where I grew up. Like, thanks school and the parental units. What was that about?! (OK, I completely wouldn't have appreciated it if I had visited as a child.)

Now I've been, I can definitely say that I will be back. Because of its grand size - all 500 acres of it - we only got the chance to explore a fraction of it. But, the fraction of what we did see was utterly wonderful, and that included these rather fine bronze sculptures by Henry Moore (top two images and below).

Henry Moore was born and grew up in Yorkshire, although you'll find the Henry Moore Foundation in Hertfordshire, which is where he lived later on in his life. Dotted around in the "Country Park" section of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, you'll also find plenty of sheep amongst Henry Moore's bronze sculptures, which adds to the charm of the place.

Whilst some sculptures were created and then ended up at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park - either permanently or temporarily - others like the Ha Ha Bridge by Brian Fell were commissioned especially for the park.

But, there's not just sculptures to take in. There are also some pretty stunning views of the lovely Yorkshire countryside to enjoy - although you will, at some point, come across one of the 100+ sculptures that are dotted around outside.

We chose to walk around the Lower Lake, which is situated between the Gate & Dam Head Bridge and the Cascade Bridge, and is the just right sort of length if you only have a few hours to visit. This above is Wilsis by Jaume Plensa, and I love how it looks out over the lake towards Bretton Hall.

Some of the sculptures at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park are there all year round, all the time, whilst others are temporary for an exhibition - like Zak OvĂ©'s Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness. These eighty identical two-metre tall figures (pictured below) are currently living in the park until June 3rd, 2018. They were one of my favourite sculptures that we saw.

The rather famous Ai WeiWei's Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads is also spending some time at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. You've got until May 18th, 2018, to admire them whilst they are still in Europe. WeiWei is one of China's most famous (and most political) sculptors.

Sitting by Sophie Ryder (located by Camellia House) is on long-term loan to the park, and really emphasises one thing I really love about the park: how the sculptures juxtapose the landscape and buildings. I also like how that juxtaposition will alter when the season changes.

Another temporary exhibition is A Rare Category of Objects by Tony Cragg. Caught Dreaming and Outspan are pictured below, and I especially like how these sculptures "flow". This exhibition is only on until September 3rd, 2017, so it's a good job it's a Bank Holiday weekend this weekend!

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is open daily between 10am and 6pm, and marvellously it's free. You do have to pay for parking, but it's a small price to pay for all that lovely fresh air and art. If you're ever in the area, I implore you to visit. It really is quite a special place, and I can't wait to head back there!

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