The Yorkshire Sculpture Park – Art is life.

image2 (6)The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is one of my favourite places to visit, especially on a sunny day, so I’m here to write a little blog about how important I think it is to enjoy art as an individual, a couple and as a family and I’ll mention just some of the things the YSP has to offer.

‘Great art for everyone’ has been YSP’s goal since opening to the public in 1977, and I believe it is an area that offers everyone a chance to exhibit some of the worlds most wonderful art and sculpture pieces.

The YSP is free to visit, FREE. All you have to do is pay very reasonable parking and you can enjoy all its wonder. It is responsible for five indoor galleries set in 500 acres of the 18th century-designed Bretton Estate, reunited in recent years under YSP’s stewardship, so there is a lot of area to explore and discover. The site welcomes over 500,000 visitors, including 48,000 learning visits each year. This is place to educate, innovate, explore and inform. There is a large area for families to take a picnic and sit outside amongst the sheep and look out on the wonderful fields and hills. The site also has a cafe and a restaurant with outside and balcony seating. Combined with the gift shops and inside art gallery, even on a rainy day this is a perfect place for a day out.

The Park holds a lot of exhibitions through out the year, and when we visited we saw the work of Tony Cragg: A Rare Category of Objects, Jaume Plensa, Ai Weiwei and Zak Ove, who’s exhibition of Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness stands powerfully outside and was fascinating to see and read about.

Over the weekend the UK had some extremely nice and hot weather and so my mother, brother and I decided to go to the Sculpture Park. My brother is not an “art fan” (whatever that means!) but even he enjoys a walk around the park, and even though he may not see the beauty and story behind the art and sculptures, it still got the family talking, discussing, laughing and taking photos.

I have been attending the Sculpture park since I was a child, and we would go on school trips to see the famous Hepworth sculptures. (Local famous artist) I’m happy to see that schools still take their classes there to draw and explore and that the YSP holds classes and creative events for all. With the recent surge in technology, I think, now more than ever, it is important to take yourself and younger generations to sites like this, for you to be outside and see real, live art. The north, Yorkshire, is very lucky to have such a gem at our feet, for free. Where we are able to immerse ourselves with art and nature so freely and at ease.

The grounds are vast, so take a camera and binoculars and search for the bugs and birds. Pose next to a sculpture. Sit for hours and draw and paint. Sunbathe, sing, share your experiences with others. There is room for everyone at this place. I have even taken a small badminton set and had a few games on the grass.

With summer coming, I think everyone should reconnect themselves with the outside and art and take a few hours out of your day and visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The photo below was a personal favourite that I took. (secret Slytherin house here) this is by Ai and is the Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads (2010), a dramatic group of 12 bronze animal heads that has been on a worldwide tour since May 2011, defiantly a must see. It was very impressive. Don’t miss it.

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