It is a tradition @ rubiesandduels that every year in the big summer holidays, we fit in a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, this year, with only 3 days of holiday remaining and with rubiesandduels junior declaring that she was far too adult for family outings, it all looked too close to call, but at the last minute, a friend agreed to be my sculpture buddy and off we set up up the M1.
This years’ summer exhibitions promised much, the copper sulphate bed-sit, Yinka Shonibare MBE and the Ortas’ work in water and water poverty.
I can hardly express how much I like the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where else can you see cutting edge artists, enjoy a good walk, bask in the formal grounds and drink very good coffee and all for the cost of the car park.
So, the copper sulphate bed-sit, created in a condemned bed sit and then laboriously dismantled and transported to Yorkshire, a cross between a Christmas grotto and a disturbingly David Lynchean interior. The crystals are huge and invest a small, claustrophobic space with an other worldliness.
Yinka Shonibare MBE is a conceptual artist working across photography, painting, film, sculpture and costume and I wanted to love his work, but the more I looked, the more I found that I was admiring the fabrication and the skills of the craftspeople who have brought his concepts to life.
I have no problem with conceptual artists using other people to realise concepts and Shonibare is an artist with specific physical limitations following a disabling illness,so needs to use the skills of others to bring concepts together, but and it is a very personal but, I wanted to see their skills and talents recognized and their names somewhere within the exhibition.
But, the exhibition is beautiful, witty, whimsical and addresses the big issues with an assured and light touch.
I defy anyone to not enjoy a fox wearing a suit made from African batique fabric, carrying a golden gun and a mobile phone.
The Ortras’ husband & wife have a lifetime retrospective in the Long Gallery, so a long walk, a climb up the piece “77 steps” – is it a sculpture or a convenient short cut?
And, as is so often the case @ The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in the midst of pieces I struggle to connect with, some little gems of line drawing and decorated ceramics.
So, breathing a sigh of relief that tradition has continued into another summer, we headed home.