Yorkshire Sculpture Park: Part Two

The Cascade bridge (header) divides the lake into two – Upper Lake which leads to a Greek Temple and Shell Grotto and Lower Lake which is larger and has walking tracks through the woods or on the north side a pathway suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. I stayed on the pathway because now the sun had come out and it was becoming quite hot and I was already too tired to take the longer route to the south of the lake.

Lower Lake to the Gate & Dam Head Bridge

Most of the sculptures are located near the YSP centre and around the actual hall, but it is a rather pleasant stroll alongside the lakeside with both natural landscapes and man-made views. A wild flower meadow attracts bees and butterflies and ducks lazily swim by.

Mindfulness – my own version of ‘Sitting’

Diario by Mikayel Ohanjanyan is a reflection on the unique value of every single person, of each human being that we meet along the road, from our birth to the end of our life. Lying on a table in the middle of YSP are blocks of marble bound by steel cables; cracked as though trying to escape. Inside each block, on either side of each fissure, half-visible inscriptions list the names of all the people the artist has ever met.

Mikayel Ohanjanyan: Diario

Please scroll through the galleries in this post to find out more about each individual sculpture. You may need to click on comment in order to read the description, but you do not have to leave a comment. All information comes from the YSP booklet/plaques and website.

Within the lower park and around the Camellia House are several large works. Black and Blue: The Invisible Man and the Mask of Darkness by Zak Ové is particularly striking. The group faces forward to confront the viewer en masse.

Beyond is the odd looking Trees: From Alternative Landscape Components by Dennis Oppenheim.


Trees: From Alternative Landscape Components act as a dialogue, this time between the natural and artificial landscape and as a comment on the act of creating environments.

Close to the Camellia House is a very large wire Hare. Sitting by Sophie Ryder attracts many a puzzled viewer.


Anthropomorphic characters are used both to explore the human condition and as a metaphor for Ryder’s own feelings. Over several years she has evolved an ongoing narrative around the female/mother figure of the Lady-Hare; a hybrid with the head of a hare, and its body modelled on Ryder’s own.

Lady Hare

Occasionally my attention was drawn to something else near a sculpture, like this  (cloud-like) smoke bush above which was near to the Shapes in the Clouds III sculpture. Likewise the door and espaliered fruit trees in the Bothy Garden alongside the bronze apples in the tree. The lady, sitting deep in contemplation with knee bent – was that composition triggered by my having seen the Lady Hare?  And the family picnic alongside Barbara Hepworths ‘Family’ on my previous post. Did the sculptures influence my observations or did my observations make me more aware of the sculptures?

I’ll leave you with my last shot: a sheep under Tony Cragg’s five metre high Caldera which seems most fitting since Cragg is especially interested in the relationship between man-made and the natural. Of course I didn’t know that until after I’d taken the shot which is when I read the information plaque.

Whether or not you are interested in sculptures this is a delightful park to visit if you are in the area and you may be surprised by how much you learn simply by walking around. New works and exhibitions are being introduced all the time and many other events take place at the Centre. To find out more visit the YSP website. Parking is easy, can be done any time during your visit or up to seven days after and costs £10 for the day. There is no entrance fee.


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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

30 thoughts on “Yorkshire Sculpture Park: Part Two”

  1. Wonderful, Jude! Thanks so much 🙂 🙂 I love your use of black and white, which works so well here. Actually I was tempted to convert some of my Abbey shots to B&W. Love the lady sitting contemplating and that sheep shot is great. They’re an interesting mix, aren’t they? I wasn’t fussed with the Hare either, but I like the look of Diario and those faces are very dynamic. Some people are very clever! I’d love an Autumn visit but I doubt it’s going to happen this year. And I’ve only seen it in rain 😦

    1. Ruins look good in B&W so go ahead and play! It’s definitely worth another visit in the dry. If I lived nearer I’d be there a lot.

  2. Interesting speculation about the interrelationship of art and nature. I know my photos are influenced by artworks sometimes. I do NOT like .Black and blue” – far too confronting and unsettling. But I like the hare, especially her voluptuous woman elements,

    1. You might like Black and Blue in reality. It could even be a tribal dance taking place, I was very taken with the faces and didn’t find them at all threatening, unlike a group of shrouded figures close by called Magnificent Desolation. The Hare, not so much. I’m not keen in general in placing human characteristics on animals.

  3. I like some of these a lot. Black and Blue reminds me of the Easter Island statues, and I have always liked Gormley’s figures. When they were placed on high points in London, we used to receive many calls, concerned that they were real suicidal people. (When I was working for the police) The Hare is amazing, though a disconcerting mix of human and animal in a ‘sexual’ context, something like Jessica Rabbit in the cartoon film.
    Thanks for the grand tour, Jude.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I found the Hare odd too, the sculptor must have very pert breasts! I can see how Gormley’s figures could be mistaken. From a distance it does look like a real person.

  4. This is a fantastic roundup. I tried to get a similar picture of some sheep sheltering under the same sculpture but some kids chased them away. My favourite was Black and Blue. I didn’t find the energy at all threatening – they seemed very vulnerable to me. It can be hard to sense the atmosphere or context around a work of art from a picture – the children approaching as near as the boundary lines let them, fascinated by the figures… the things you crop out to focus on the artwork. My sweetheart was a big fan of the alternative trees.

    1. I liked Black and Blue too, as you say, it is very different when there in person and I deliberately took images to focus on the faces. I didn’t get close enough to the alternative trees, it is a big park to walk around.

    1. I haven’t room for a meadow, but I did create a 1m square patch of pollinator plants this summer – you will see it in my end of month roundup.

  5. Ah now I LOVE the hare, I’ve seen Sophie Ryder’s work before, but Wilsis is my favourite. The sheep is pretty cute as well and this is a lovely post x:-)x

  6. These are all beautiful photos, Jude. This looks like a magical place to walk through. I can imagine the camera clicking non-stop with so much inspiration.

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