Inspiring Environments

Inspiring Environments

Building upon an established creative legacy, the year ahead at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is set to feature ambitious interventions in the park’s historic landscape, alongside major exhibitions both in the open air and the YSP galleries. A new £3.8 million visitor centre will also open in 2018, with an inaugural installation by Delhi-based artists Thukral and Tagra.

Highlights of the 2018 programme include the most extensive UK exhibition to date by Italian artist Giuseppe Penone (b.1947). Years in the making, it takes place across the YSP parkland and within the light-filled spaces of the Underground Gallery from 26 May – 6 January. Works drawn from almost five decades of the artist’s career, including many which have never before been shown in the UK, trace Penone’s evolving investigation of humanity’s connections to the organic world and the interplay of art with the natural environment. As a recurring motif throughout Penone’s practice, a tree will run through the heart of the indoor exhibition. At over 30 metres long, Matrice (2015) spans almost the entire length of the gallery, passing through apertures in the walls. This remarkable sculpture is the trunk of a fir tree, bisected vertically and hollowed out, carefully carved to follow one of its growth rings. Outside, a new work Luce e ombra (2017) overlooks the lake. Reflecting the changing seasons, the work offers a space for quiet reflection.

Revolt & Revolutions celebrates the idea of art as a means of empowerment, giving a voice to the unheard and power to the vulnerable. Drawn primarily from the Arts Council Collection, this show in the Bothy Gallery (6 January – 15 April) gives insight counter-culture and anti-establishment movements of recent decades, alongside work by artists who seek to make a difference, helping to suggest ways that we might contribute to change on an individual, community and even global level. Works include Susan Philipsz’ version of The Internationale (1999), broadcast across the Bothy Garden and A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World (2003–) by Ruth Ewan.

In the Chapel space, Chiharu Shiota (b. 1972) will create a site-specific installation of thread (30 March –3 June). Shiota is known for large-scale works such as The Key In The Hand (2015), an elaborate entanglement of red thread and keys at the 56th Venice Biennale. Her YSP project will reference the Chapel’s rich history and years of human presence, dating back to 1744, making poignant allusion to the bells that were rung, the songs that were sung in the space, and the lives that revolved around it, from cradle to grave.

In another keynote exhibition, the radical work of arts and environmental group Common Ground is celebrated in the Bothy Gallery and Garden Gallery from 5 May–2 September. Founded in 1983 by Sue Clifford, Angela King and Roger Deakin, Common Ground works with artists to engage people with their local environment. For the last 30 years they have created projects like Apple Day, Parish Maps and New Milestones, all of which unearth the strong connections that communities have with their landscape. Featured here are new commissions by artists including Assemble, Christine Mackey and Alec Finlay. Supernature (2018) by South African James Webb, features an audio reading of the YSP’s Bretton Estate by various specialists including a detective and psychic. The exhibition also offers visitors the chance to see Arcadia, a new film about our changing relationship with the land, crafted from footage in the British Film Institute National Archive.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park; various dates throughout 2018; Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield. For more information:

1. Chiharu Shiota, The Key in the Hand, 2015. Japan Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy. Courtesy of the artist and Blain|Southern. Photo: Sunhi Mang.