25 August 2011
This was my last visit for the foreseeable future to the Peoples Republic of South Yorkshire. I went down to pick Sal up and bring her back home after she had spent a week with her parents. We had agreed beforehand to visit The Yorkshire Sculpture Park on our way back. I went about 15 years ago and found it an interesting place so I knew it would be Sal's cup of tea.
We met up in the Red Lion as we normally do and had a drink before heading up the M1. The weather was kind to us but the park very busy so we had to park in the Learning Centre Car park. This threw me a bit as but we worked on the theory that if we continued downhill then we would eventually get to the Lake and I would then know where I was.
One of the first series of sculptures we came across were of large rabbits or hares with human bodies, most strange.
Onething was certain was, the sculpturer was an "arse" person. 10/10 for the peachy posteriors ;)
Next was a beautiful glass building called Camellia House which was full of trees and vines with a waterfall in the centre.........
............ then outside was a sculpture made out of old toilets and sinks!
Eventually we found our way to the lake and walked up to the main bridge and along the path on the far side which gave lovely views across to Bretton Hall.
The hall opened as a College in 1949, specialising in design, music and the visual and performance arts. Its graduates include three of the four League of Gentlemen creators/performers, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith.
Most significantly it was from Bretton Hall College that Yorkshire Sculpture Park emerged - founded by one time Bretton Hall lecturer Peter Murray CBE.
We eventually came to a lovely little bridge with stepping stones. As if on cue, a cow appeared and walked across the stones to the far bank giving a lovely photo opportunity.
The next piece of work on our travels was the Seventy One Steps by David Nash
Quote "The intervention consists of seventy one oak steps, carefully charred and oiled, which follow the lie of the land up the hill. The steps are embedded in thirty tons of coal, to create a useful artwork that will gradually erode as it is walked on.
The steps are an evolution of an abiding theme within Nash's sculpture that connects up and down, root and branch, and inspired by his primary interest in wood and trees."
as the description said, they were steps and there was 71 of them!
Next up was some Henry Moore rubbish. Neither of us could see the point of any of it so we took the piss and then beat an hasty retreat to the tat and coffee shop. Nuff said.
Nomad by Jaume Plensa which I thought was really impressive.
Sal missed out on her "tat fix" for the second week running. A broken woman, she retreated to the coffee shop where we sat out on the balcony overlooking the park. Time was getting on so we decided to saunter back to the car but we were both of the opinion that we had missed out on so much and decided to come again and give ourselves plenty of time. We particularly wanted to see the the full Jaume Plensa exhibits but we thought we had missed them.
We wearily walked out of the Visitor Centre to go back to the car and there they were in front of us. I'm not really into sculpture or the Arts much but I found Jaume Plensa's work amazing and I'm sure Sal did as well.
I don't think we saw the full exhibition either, I think a lot of it was inside but there is always another time. Time was pressing on and we had to get home, also the Sculpture Park was starting to close.
Elizabeth Frink's "the naked men with white faces and tackle out" which caused a bit of a commotion!! We had done quite well. As I recall, this was the only Sal "giddy" moment of the day and that was my fault as well.
We headed back up the M1 only to hit the rush hour traffic on the M62. The journey back seemed to take a lifetime but we still managed a last drink in the Sun at Cottingley, not really our cup of tea but needs must!
I can thoroughly recommend YSP but make sure you have plenty of time to see the exhibits and walk around the full site. It is a big place, we don't do things by halves in Yorkshire :)
This was another cracking day out and nice to do something different, thanks Sal.