Inside Outside – Yorkshire Sculpture Park


Sean Scully sculpture Wall Dale Cubed

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is always a place I enjoy exploring and spending time, but I haven’t been for ages.  Yesterday, in the glorious October sunshine, I made an impromptu brief visit.   The parkland looked magnificent, and so did the sculpture.

Wall Dale Cubed sculpture by Sean Scully

Stone sculpture by Sean Scully

Of course I was bound to be drawn to Sean Scully’s exhibition Inside Outside (his investigation into how abstraction can be used to express human emotion) and the sculpture Wall Dale Cubed in particular.  Using one thousand tonnes of Yorkshire stone from a local quarry, the three cubes were constructed on site.  The sculpture is said to reference ancient dry stone walls and was built in the same way.    How did it make you feel?  I’d love to hear what you thought if you’ve seen it.

Tree sculpture by Giuseppe Penone

Also incorporating stone were pieces in Giuseppe Penone’s – A Tree in the Wood exhibition.   The sculpture express his thoughts on our intimate relationship with the natural world, with themes around the body, nature, time, touch and memory.

Detail of tree sculpture by Giuseppe Penone

In the Underground Gallery is this tree sculpture called Matrice, a whole fir tree trunk with branches, with its inner core excavated following one of its growth rings.  I found this very beautiful and a fascinating idea.

Matrice tree sculpture by Giuseppe Penone

When I first saw the tree sculptures outside, I thought they were real trees, but actually they are casts, this one Albero folgorato, is a beautiful bronze cast of a lightning-struck tree.

A gilded tree by Giuseppe Penone

This dramatic group of twelve bronze animal heads represent the Chinese zodiac – a sculpture so easy to connect with and each animal is gorgeously styled by sculptor Ai Weiwei.

Circle of Animals by Ai Weiwei

Animal head sculpture by Ai Weiwei

To quote Joan Miro – ‘I don’t begin the sculptures from drawings, but directly from the objects… I never make drawings for them, I just put the objects together…’

Joan Miro sculpture at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Sophie Ryder’s human-animal Crawling – half hare, half human, filled with the instincts and expressions of both.

Crawling by Sophie Ryder

Cloaked Figure by Lynn Chadwick – bronze

Cloaked Figure sculpture by Lynn Chadwick

Barbara Hepworth – squares with circles looking magestic!

Barbara Hepworth sculpture at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Wilder Shores of Desire by Mark Quinn – an enlarged orchid using 3D scanning technology illustrating his interest in humankind’s increasingly one-sided relationship to nature, in which human desire attempts to manipulate nature to its own ends.

Wilder Shores of Desire sculpture by Marc Quinn

Can’t leave without saying hello to Peter Randall-Page – this sculpture carved in granite from Blackenstone Quarry in Dartmoor – a piece called Envelope of Pulsation.

Envelope of Pulsation by Peter Randall-Page

And on the way out, Henry Moor – Three Piece Reclining Figure No 1 – who also greeted me on the way in.

Three Piece Reclining Figure No 1 by Henry Moore

Totally envigorated by my dash, promising  to return soon for a longer visit.  The journey home was filled with thoughts and imaginings of my stone sculpture in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s landscape, in the Garden Gallery, Bothy Gallery – and even the Underground Gallery and Terrace.




  1. Comment by Ellen Abbott:

    some amazing work but I really love the orchid.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Isn’t it beautiful – had to take a pic of it through glass as, although outside, there was no way of getting close, or a good view, so I’m looking at it from the visitor centre walkway.

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