Archives for posts with tag: Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Those of you who see my blog regularly will already have gathered my love of Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

P1060312As part of the commemorations for the 1914-18 War the ‘Poppy Wave’ is one of 2 traveling installations from the Tower of London and it has been installed at YSP, in the New Year it moves to Lincoln.

The Poppies were not the main reason for my visit, the installation in London was huge and worked on the basis of who it represented with each poppy being an individual who fell, and this gave it a scale that was never going to be matched at YSP. I went to see it knowing that it would not have the scale and thought that I may be making a token visit for that reason. In fact I found it to be a unique and fascinating visit and it has been thought provoking both at the time and subsequently, and that was not what I expected.

With the intention of shooting the Poppy Wave I had to determine what I want to say about the lives of the soldiers it stands for and the war they were engaged in. I have never been to war, my knowledge of it is gained almost entirely second hand through written media, film and TV.

P1060303The majority of the pictures of the Poppies out there are little more than attractive chocolate box images, many shot in near perfect conditions on a sunny day, whilst many images talk about the scale of the fatalities I suggest that it’s more by chance than intention.

P1060304It was not a nice day when I went, at one point it was trying to rain, what I found the poppies doing was talking to me about the finality of death and how whilst individuals are remembered those who have been lost are lost for good, it also talked about how all those in conflict are intertwined. What surprised me though was it also talked to me about the men whilst they were alive, and how as ordinary young men many will have had aspirations and dreams they would otherwise have been reaching for. The most powerful image for me is of loud, noisy, lively individual men, with the banter and character you find in groups of men, but separately and darkly the same image in the midst of war shouts with the fear of forthcoming death.



Has anyone seen April?

In all honesty I don’t know where April gone, it’s well known that as you mature time goes so fast that July and August vanish and you are left with a 10 month year, but this is starting way to early!!

In the bits of April I can find; I did make it to the first day of the Ursula von Rydingsvard exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park – I am a huge fan of that place, her work mostly in timber is fascinating, and being the first day the Artist was around during the day.

These are big sculptures, and being timber they smell of wood and that brings a life to them not found in most other work.

The following weekend I was in London, and saw 2 very good shows, that seen on the same day juxtapose each other and providing a sense of balance. One was Hockney’s prints at Dulwich Picture House, this was a detailed and in part an intimate collection of his print making work, from his very early work exploring and discovering his sexuality, early visits to the US through to his cubist later works that are stunning. Sit against this the Richard Hamilton at the Tate that is an outward looking show, where Hamilton comments on the world as he found it and you have a couple of shows that together leave you wide eyed, excited and enthused.

At the end of the month I found one of the films I almost saw on screen at Christmas is now on DVD so that was bought and watched immediately. This was ‘All is Lost’ starring Robert Redford, this is an unusual film with a solo actor and very few words, and no conversations. However the story is compelling and it holds you from beginning to end. All you need is an unspoken connection and masterful story telling, if you have that you need nothing else.


This should have gone up in April, but you get busy and time flies past. Come April, come my birthday and this year I spent the day at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, it was only a few days after the opening of Fabric-ation a major new show by Yinka Shonibar MBE.

It was a beautiful day, bright sun, blue skies but cool with snow underfoot, this made the countryside look exquisite, you could not get to some of the permanent installations due to the snow but it where you could it was interesting to see the effect of snow on the work. It was also good to see that a considerable amount of Miro’s work (the previous show) is still on site.

Yinka ShonibareMBE’s work has a number of running themes including the Dutch Wax Fabric pattern be it in cloth or painted onto the wind sculptures. His work is in parts is obviously political looking at environmental issues, hunger and the Iraq war, other aspects recreate and reinterpret paintings – Death Paintings, plus his films, the film being shown in the Chapel is exquisite. The ‘Egg Fight’ based on Swift’s Gullivers Travels has a futility to it that visually translates to so many modern conflicts, even though for Swift it was a religious comment.


There is a great aspect to the work of Yinka Shonibare MBE and that is that although it is codified, it is not so highly codified as to be inaccessible and that in the work of many artists is an unusual quality.