The Yorkshire Sculpture Park has been on my list of places to blog about for ages. Just a short distance from Leeds, it’s one of West Yorkshire’s best attractions and somewhere I like to take friends when they come to visit.
I’ve been prompted to write about it now after receiving an invitation to attend a “Sound Stone” workshop at the Sculpture Park. The event takes place during the YSP’s “Weekend of Wonderful Things” where there will be a number of varied, cool-sounding activities taking place from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 July, from stargazing to dawn yoga, sculpture building to story telling.
On the Sunday, there are three sound stone events where “German sculptor and sound stone maker Hannes Fessmann joins UK composer and sound designer Steven Halliday for a day of sonic sound sculpting in the Chapel.” For those who don’t know (and who would??) a sound stone is an instrument made from carved stone and played with wet hands.
The first event – “Hannes Fessmann Sound Sculpture Workshop in the Chapel” – is a workshop where participants will have a chance to play sound stones. Hannes will be demonstrating how to play the stones and then helping people play them themselves. The event is free although you need to book a place in advance. Later in the day there will be a drop-in session and then a performance at 3.30pm where the 18th century chapel will be turned into a giant sonic sound space.
I’m intrigued to see how sound is made from these beautifully carved stones!
The weekend will be a great opportunity to explore the park out of hours as well and to experience some unusual open air activities.
Even without events on, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a great place to visit. They have some fantastic permanent and temporary exhibitions, both in the fields and in the galleries. I really enjoyed the recent KAWS exhibition and loved the Sophie Ryder exhibition years ago. You can still see her some of her work in the open-air display.
The permanent displays are always lovely to wander around. One of my favourite family photos is when I was child and on a day out with the extended family – we have photos of us peeking from behind various Henry Moore sculptures.
Even if you don’t think art’s really your thing, the Sculpture Park is a lovely place to walk round, and with plenty of different routes and a cafe next to the car park, you can make a day out of it.
I think it’s also a great place for kids of all ages as it doesn’t feel like you’re doing something “cultured” – there’s plenty of space to run around and so many eye-catching sculptures; it’s hard not to stop and engage with them.
If you’ve not been yet, the Weekend of Wonderful Things is the perfect opportunity to go explore this fantastic place.