Celebrating The Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 40th Anniversary

Yorkshire Sculpture ParkHenry Moore, Draped Seated Woman, 1957-8. Courtesy London Borough Tower Hamlets.

It was an honour to head to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on Sunday to celebrate this art-meets-park’s 40th anniversary.

This groundbreaking park showcased A Weekend Of Wonderful Things, with experiences, performances and events to mark the special occasion and it certainly lived up to its name.


Fittingly, I’m wearing my new Revolution tee by Topshop because YSP is revolutionary in every way.

It’s the leading and largest international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture in Europe and a UK first, set up in 1977, touching millions over the years.

Tony Cragg, Mean Average, 2013. Bronze, 570 x 241 x 255cm. Courtesy the artist and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The latest installations and exhibits (art on show is ever-changing) features the work of creative heroes Tony Cragg, Jaume Plensa, Ai Weiwei, Henry Moore and many others, effortlessly merging sculpture with the serene Yorkshire back drops, making for an uplifting experience.

Tony Cragg, Elliptical Column, 2012. Stainless Steel, 580 x 154 x 136cm. Courtesy the artist and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads (detail), 2010. Courtesy the artist.

Tony Cragg, Outspan, 2008. Bronze, 190 x 200 x 124cm. Courtesy the artist and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Zak Ové, Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness, 2016-17. Courtesy Modern Forms, Vigo gallery and the artist.

 It’s one of this family’s happy places and we wholeheartedly recommend a weekend stroll or hike (it’s over 500 acres) to help work the legs and feed the soul.

Honest Mum and family at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The children relished in spotting new pieces in the park and old favourites (this ‘bunny’ by Sophie Ryder was in her birthday suit for the occasion ;)) and the creative activities to mark the weekend encouraged imaginative play and art and crafts for all the family.

The Lady Hare-Sophie RyderSophie Ryder, Sitting, 2007. Courtesy the artist and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

playing with ribbons at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

playing with ribbons at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

playing at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

arts and crafts at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park reminds me of my Enid Blyton-esque childhood growing up in the picturesque and ‘teeny tiny’ as Xander would say, town of Ikley by the river.

The expansive countryside, waddling geese and glorious, often towering pieces that punctuate the view, always feel nostalgic yet current in their mixed mediums and powerful presence.

Rather like parenting. Having kids transports you right back to your own childhood whilst placing you firmly in the driver’s seat.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a truly magical place (there really is nowhere else like it in the UK), it feels other-worldly as forests chime with installations, as if you’ve stepped through Narnia, discovering a magical kingdom on how life should be. It’s therefore, as you can imagine, magnetic in its pull: it draws you in, and in, and back again. It’s the happy ever after we endlessly seek.

Alexander poses on a tree at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Thanks to the YSP for having us. The food was delicious, the sun behaved and stayed all day and the sculptures stirred us, inspiring stories on the drive back home.

Happy Birthday!

Here’s to another enriching 40 years to come, and many more.


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