Yorkshire Sculpture Park Celebrates Forty Years since its grand opening back in 1977. The expansive green space, occupied by works of art of all shapes, sizes, and imaginary tangents continually evolves with each new wave of material. Now, four decades on, the very first and arguably the finest sculpture park in the nation is a famous landmark and popular repeat attraction for many art and walking enthusiasts.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park sits nicely between Huddersfield, Barnsley, and Wakefield, with Sheffield, Nottingham, and Leeds not in the far distance. Opened by art teacher Peter Murray, the YSP was intended to make art accessible and as the clock ticked on, it more than fulfilled this original wish. Now one of the highest regarded and most influential collections on the planet, this quiet and green corner of the north hosts multiple events and continues to bring in visitors from around the world.
Murray has said that he wanted the park to be in Yorkshire as a tribute to two of Britain's finest sculptors, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore (BBC). Bringing the three dimensional and solid world of sculpture into the outdoor environment was a brave decision, as most typically presented in museums and galleries, adorning a green hillside with various imaginative creations wasn't to everyone's taste. Although opposition from locals at the time of construction manifested with complaints about the amount of people and the practical unusuality of the situation, the park went ahead and has enjoyed prosperity and a positive impact on the local geography.
To celebrate their fortieth year in service, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park outlined a list of events with a “Weekend of Wonderful Things” recently and several new works of art placed in prominent locations. With poet in residence Simon Armitage continuing to score sculpture park themed verses, inspirational talks by Tony Cragg and Cornelia Parker, two influential sculptors, 2017 has been a bonanza year for the YSP and sets the scene for many more years of accessibility to art and cultural enrichment.
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