We are massively fortunate here in Yorkshire to be home to the sculpture park which is justifiably Museum of the Year 2014, I’d go further and call it Museum of Every Year. Though actually for me, it’s nature’s art that tops it all.
There’s 500 acres of beautiful Yorkshire countryside, scattered with sculptures, some of them by very talented artists, but many more by the most talented artist of them all, Mother Nature.
We popped in this weekend to catch sight of Ursula von Rydingsvard’s cedar sculptures. The 40 works from the 71-year-old New York-based artist have roots in her the childhood she spent post war with her Polish mother and Ukranian father in camps for displaced persons in Germany. She saw a lot of wood then, slept on it, ate with it and warmed her hands on its fire, little wonder, then, that it’s the medium she works in, that and the odd cow intestine. Seriously.
The sculptures are big, gigantic, in fact, She works on an industrial scale with a circular saw chipping and hacking the cedar wood that over the years has given her an allergic reaction, so much so that she has to work in a kind of spacewoman suit. That’s dedication.
While I can admire her vision and skill, and marvel at the sheer scale and physical effort, whenever I’m at the YSP, which is often, but not as often as I’d like, I’m always drawn by the natural which complements the man-made. The breeze bothering the autumn leaves, mist rising from the lake, dew clinging to the grass, or just the simple shadows cast by the light. All in all, a very beautiful place.