As spring brings the promise of brighter days ahead, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) has unveiled its plans to continue its phased reopening in line with the government roadmap, and welcome visitors back to appreciate and enjoy a remarkable collection in an exceptional landscape.
YSP is a unique cultural destination, museum and registered charity in Wakefield, welcoming diverse audiences across its 500 acres where around 100 sculptures are sited in formal gardens, parkland, woods and around two lakes. Serving ongoing cultural learning, physical activity and mental wellbeing, throughout 2021, new exhibitions and artist projects will be launched, with narratives of identities and histories, and a material focus on textiles, photography, ceramics and the natural world.
From 12 April, the shop in the YSP Centre will reopen, displaying a stunning collection of ceramic tiles and prints as part of Alison Milner’s new exhibition, Decorative Minimalist, inspired by YSP.
After more than a year of closure due to COVID-19, The Weston will begin to reopen its doors. From 27 April, The Weston shop will welcome customers back to browse an exciting new range of products, and The Restaurant will open for outdoor dining on the same day. Indoor restaurant seating will follow on 18 May, complete with a revamped menu for spring. Booking is advised and reservations will be taken from 12 April. Please phone +44 (0)1924 930004 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a table. The Weston will be open Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays.
The Weston Gallery is set to reopen its doors on 18 May, with a special exhibition of extremely rare lithographs and etchings by the great Spanish artist Joan Miró, one of the most eminent artists of the 20th century. The project offers a rare opportunity to own work by this leading international artist, with all proceeds coming to the charity.
The Underground Gallery will reopen on 24 May, showcasing this year’s headline exhibition, Beyond by celebrated Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, which we are thrilled has now been extended until January 2022. The show comprises vibrant, sometimes monumental, sculpture, using fabric, needlework and crochet alongside everyday objects, from a laundry drying rack to car wheel hubs. By incorporating items associated with domestic work and craft, Vasconcelos comments from a feminist perspective on national and collective identity, cultural tradition and women’s roles in society.
Several other indoor galleries will reopen shortly after: Breaking the Mould: Sculpture by Women since 1945, a major survey of female sculptors from the Arts Council Collection from post-war to the present day, opens at Longside Gallery on 29 May. This ground-breaking exhibition aims to redefine the period and the place of women artists within it. Meanwhile, the sublime 18th century Chapel will open its doors from 10 July with the towering and intricate porcelain sculpture 399 Days by Rachel Kneebone.
The YSP Centre coffee shop and the café at the Learning Building will remain open for takeaway food and drink only, and the café at the YSP Centre will reopen with indoor seating on 21 June.
The open-air collection continues to evolve and offer new sights to discover. YSP will welcome the new permanent displays of Tania Kovats’ Untitled in lakeside woodland in spring, followed by South African artist Willem Boshoff’s Flagstone in autumn. Idit Nathan and Helen Stratford’s sculptures Walking and Playing Farther Afield – created out of railway sleepers, with texts that encourage visitors to think about their environment – will be installed later in the year.
The Oak Project will also be unveiling its first artist commission, Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds by artists Heather and Ivan Morison from Studio Morison, at YSP. Responding to the question “Can art save us from extinction?”, the artists are developing a sculptural space made of natural materials that acts as an extended open pavilion and a quiet place set within nature, opening on World Environment Day on 5 June.
YSP Deputy Director, Helen Featherstone, says: “We are thrilled to be taking the first steps to welcoming visitors back to the indoor galleries, shops and restaurants at YSP in the coming months. As we reopen additional areas of YSP in accordance with the government roadmap, we are continuing to take utmost care to ensure we are operating in a COVID-safe way. We have social distancing measures such as one-way-systems to enable visitors to enjoy their visit, and we are now well practiced in their implementation. We’re feeling optimistic about the year ahead, with some fantastic exhibitions and projects programmed.”
Follow YSP online for up-to-date information about booking tickets, reopening dates, and gallery opening hours.