Art really is accessible when you visit the open space of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in West Yorkshire. And you can combine this with a trip to the Hepworth museum in Wakefield to see work by contemporary artists and the internationally famous, Yorkshire-born Barbara Hepworth.

 

Objects in the Landscape

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is an open-air gallery, spread across parkland in West Bretton. The area covers some 500 acres, which makes it great for walkers as well as art-lovers.

The landscape of the park has its origins some 200 years ago, as part of the private estate of Bretton Hall. It was divided up in the late 1940s but has steadily

become re-integrated through the efforts of YSP.

Now the area offers visitors an integrated and liberating cultural and outdoor experience, where you can encounter imposing and intriguing sculpture set in the landscape, exposed to the elements. There are around 100 pieces of work on display at any one time across the estate, featuring the work of famous and influential artists such as Anthony Gormley, Henry Moore and Julian Opie.

The park also showcases integrated landscape art by Andy Goldsworthy and pioneering work by the American artist James Turrell in the form of his deer shelter in the park grounds. Here you can really immerse yourself in a contemplative setting while gazing up through an opening that frames the sky itself.

For those wanting exercise and more vigorous activity, there are plenty of walking routes to take you around the estate, and the area is very family friendly, with picnic areas and the freedom for kids to run around.

YSP has regular exhibitions of leading contemporary artists in its various indoor galleries situated in and around the park, as well as special outdoor sculpture exhibitions.

There is a cafe and a restaurant, and the YSP Centre, where you can learn more about the area and artists, and browse the items for sale in the eclectic and well-stocked gallery shop.

 

Visiting Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth museum is only a short drive from YSP, and there is also a bus link within the sculpture park, for services running between the two sites.

The Hepworth Wakefield is the largest purpose-built exhibition space outside London, providing ample light-filled gallery areas in which to showcase wide-ranging contemporary art exhibitions.

Alongside these exhibitions, the Hepworth Wakefield has a permanent collection of modern British art, with works by Henry Moore, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson and Hepworth herself, and many, many more.

The gallery has a café bar serving locally sourced food and drink, including cooked breakfasts, light snacks and main meals and afternoon tea.

Wakefield itself is a lively town and Leeds is only a 30 minute drive away.