Yesterday we went with a Quaker group on an afternoon trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park just outside Wakefield . This is always worthwhile because it is so huge . There are usually several special exhibitions in various buildings as well as pieces set in the landscape . Some of these are permanent – so if all else fails one can get refreshed by Henry Moore , Barbara Hepworth , Elizabeth Frink etc ! We only had time for the special exhibition in the chapel , ‘Transparency’ which was a few pieces from the Arts Council Collection , mostly a bit translucent . My favourites were –
These were resin casts of the underside of different chairs – not that we guessed correctly ! She is famous for casting the reverses of things – inside a house or cupboard , library shelves and their books facing outwards etc . I usually have no time for YBA’s/Saatchi favourites but her work consistently moves me , as did this .
The other pieces I really liked were by Gary Woodley who teaches painting at the Slade altho’ his own work seems to be more about drawing or sculpture . I can’t find an image of them but they were 3 studies in perspex from 1993 . He draws black lines inside buildings and these seemed to be 3d scale models showing how visible or not the lines would be depending on the viewpoint and opacity of the walls . Here is a 2d plan and an exhibited finished line .
Outside the chapel was this –
I think this was cast in iron (now rusting) in the 3 sections and then covered with iron bolts in square depressions . Overall it looks cruel , perhaps until you realise the tree and bolts are made of the same material . I don’t know what it means if anything and perhaps there is too much temptation to interpret it politically , since he seems to be known more for his opposition to his government than his work . I don’t think I’ve seen anything of his before , certainly not ‘in the flesh’ .
This was new to me too . I’ve seen loads of photographs of her sculptures over the years but never in real life . Yes I did like it and it did make me smile .
Finally these : cast in iron at approximately 1 1/2 times life size they are headless but not identical . Abakanowicz is Polish and lived most of her life under political oppression (repression ?) . The blurb suggested they were figures of authority , I thought they might be a cynical view of a council/committee supposedly set up to help but unable to , hence headless eg something from the UN . I found it interesting that she also chose rusting iron like Ai Wei Wei .