a visit to: Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
It's a Sunday in Feb. It's cold, and if truth be told, it's pretty grey & gloomy. For many (including us) this might normally be a day to stay indoors. However, with our new store opening in Leeds now just a matter of weeks away, we are making the most of what few long weekend's we have left - come rain or shine. On this Sunday, it was a trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Now, what is about to follow is an incredibly glowing review of our visit to YSP. In a world today of fake-reviews and funded-opinions, we want to stress that this visit had no connection whatsoever with YSP. Our glowing report of this place is driven purely on the fact that we absolutely loved it.
The park itself is set bang in the middle of the Yorkshire countryside, this environment lending itself to the scale and enormity across some of its installations. Few indoor galleries could hold the 10-metre high 'The Virgin Mother' and few would offer the sheer contrast and added exposure that the open countryside did on this icey-cold day.
On leaving the car and venturing down the grassy approach to the first cluster of sculptures, the park doesn't give a lot away. Despite their size, the vast majority of the sculptures are hidden at this stage, nestled around the expanse of grounds and waterways. To see them, it's a case of searching them out. We spent around 4.5-hours walking the grounds and we didn't cover it - albeit we didn't rush it either.
In-tow this day was an art-obsessed 12-year old and a somewhat more reluctant 10-year old, already on his 'last warning' of the day (issued as early as 9.30am). Honestly, the time we spent in the park passed by in a blink. With each new installation or gallery discovered there came the same question 'but what does it mean?'. In most cases the answer was 'what do you think - do you like it?', followed by our own interpretation. Despite the purposeful stance we take on our own collection of prints with infaant, we are big believers that art doesn't have to mean anything. If you enjoy it and personally take something from it, then that is that. All that said though, it is quite fun to read the localised signs around each sculpture to understand what the artist intended by the piece - even just to see the often puzzled look on the face of, well, just about everyone.
What is fantastic about YSP is the expanse and the scale of the place. Even for those on their 'last warning' at 9.30am in the morning, there is something to grab your attention and quickly lure you in, with an inherent intrigue to keep you walking and continue exploring.
We won't spend any time here dissecting each piece in the park (Damien Hirst has this covered), but what we will say is that there is something for everyone, even on a gloomy day in Feb. The grounds of the park, bridges and waterways alone are a sight to be seen, but with changing exhibits throughout the year, we have already updated our calendar and can't wait to return.
It's hard to think of a better way to spend a Sunday with a young family, especially in the summer with the sun shining and a picnic ready to go.
The park is open all year round and under-25's are free. Cant ask for much better than that. x