“Sculpture is an art of the open air… I would rather have a piece of my sculpture put in a landscape, almost any landscape, than in, or on, the most beautiful building I know”.Henry Moore
Set in 500 acres of Yorkshire Countryside the park was founded in 1977. It has one of the largest open-air collections of works by Henry Moore as well as a programme of visiting works by artists.
We were lucky to visit on a perfect, bright and dry Autumn day. Seeing the sculptures in an outdoor setting was truly beautiful. I think that the sky, grass, stream and trees all served to ground the artworks, whilst also giving them space to breath. Like a peacock with its feathers fully displayed, the works blossomed to show their fuller potential.
Personally, I had two revelations whilst there:
I have enjoyed H Moore’s work since I first saw a small bronze head sculpture it in a 1991 film “The Object of Beauty.” I have seen them in museums countless times but have never had the opportunity to touch one. Given they look so solid and weighty it was a complete shock to me to find they are hollow! This notwithstanding, I continue to find them extraordinary and thoroughly loved the opportunity to photograph them in nature.
My second shock was how much I enjoyed the Damien Hirst pieces. Until now, I must concede, that I have been lazy as far as he is concerned. Initially revolted by “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” (1991) and perversely, not wanting to like something everyone else was raving about, I shut my eyes to him.
However, the sheer scale and placement outside of The Virgin Mother (2005) was something I was unprepared for and drawn to.
I have decided to explore these two artists in further separate blogs as I find their work so interesting.
All photographs taken by me on the day.