henrymoore2The Art Today group made a very rewarding visit to Yorkshire at the beginning of July for the International Yorkshire Festival of Sculpture.

Staying at the Queen’s Hotel in Leeds’ City Square, we were delighted by the Art Deco interior and the grand facade of this hotel built in 1937.

Leeds made an excellent centre from where we travelled to the various exhibitions. Our itinerary was planned by Jo Watson and Pauline Mousley, starting us off with a visit to the Tetley Gallery, a wonderful experience in the now converted Tetley’s Brewery....another Art Deco building with a magnificent lift, just waiting for Poirot! We enjoyed the work of two contemporary artists there, Nika Neelova’s exhibition, ‘EVER’ and Holly Hendry’s, ‘Cenotaph’.

On day two we took an early train to Wakefield for a visit to the Barbara Hepworth Gallery; designed by David Chipperfield, to nestle in a bend of the River Calder, the building is a delight.

As well as the wonderful examples of work by Barbara Hepworth, we were interested in the work of Wolfgang Laib, made from rice, stone and ash and Jimmie Durham working with recycled materials. We also loved the cafe...and enjoyed a very good lunch talking about the sculptures we had seen.

Day three also involved the train to Wakefield and a free bus ride to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. A gloriously sunny day certainly aided our enjoyment of this wonderful space dotted with some of Henry Moore’s largest works and many other treasures. After coffee, we began looking at the thirty sculptures made by David Smith: work from the 30’s to the 60’s exhibited in the Underground Gallery and a smaller exhibition by Ella Doran, ‘Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor’.

We spent the whole of the afternoon walking and viewing work in the vastness of the Sculpture Park, including Damian Hirst’s ten metre tall ‘Virgin Mother’.

Our final day was spent in Leeds. A walk to the City Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute provided us with a whole day of interest. We saw Danien Hirst’s ‘ Black Sheep with Golden Horns’ and Phylida Barlow’s ‘Untitled: Venice Columns’, and the work of Joanna Piotrowska in a lushly carpeted gallery, and upstairs the architectural work of Ayse Erkmen.

Our return home was uneventful, although on a very crowded train we were pleased to have reserved seats. We have delightful memories of our visit to Yorkshire.


Pat Davies