I Miss Miro but Make a Beeline for The Bee Library

A Sunny September Saturday Afternoon at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Oh dear, I seem to have lots of favourite places to walk and yesterday I revisited another but it’s a good place to take visitors who enjoy stepping out in the countryside but not too strenuously and with added cultural interest. Yesterday we spent a lovely warm sunny afternoon at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I was last there on a cold blustery January morning earlier this year. Despite a busy car park and visitor centre it was easy to get away from the crowds and although our aim was to see the Joan Miro exhibits we never actually got to them! The plan was to hike up to the Longside Gallery to see the Anish Kapoor exhibits and return to the car via the Underground Gallery and Miro exhibition.

Of course, it didn’t turn out like that as we were constantly stopping to inspect the wonderful sculptures dotted around the Park.

One of the first up was Barbara Hepworth‘s The Family of Man. Only as recently as July I had come across an edition of this bronze work at Snape Maltings in Suffolk.

Family of Man at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Family of Man at Snape Maltings

Descending through the park we were waylaid by other intriguing and clever works of art including The Greyworld Playground (make your own music!), Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Ten Seated Figures and nearby Sophie Ryder‘s Lady-Hare Sitting.

Our visitors have connections with the northeast and were expecting to see an Antony Gormley, almost featureless but still expressive, sculpture as they, like me, are fans of The Angel of The North.

They were not disappointed. Right by the gate, through which you head into open country and fields of sheep and cattle, and standing high above our heads on a massive tree trunk is Gormley’s One & Other.

At this point we were intrigued to take a detour from our proposed route to inspect Alec Finlay’s The Bee Library. Along a path through woodland surrounding the Upper Lake hang 24 ‘Bee Hotels’ each is labelled with the title of the book and a link to the website www.the-bee-bole.com where the full story can be read.

Finally we headed up the hill to the Longside Gallery which features currently an exhibition of the work of Anish Kapoor designer and creator of the Orbit structure in the London 2012 Olympic Park and of Cloudgate, commonly called “The Bean”, in Chicago.

Chicago’s Cloudgate by Anish Kapoor at night

No photography is allowed inside the gallery. After a brief stop for refreshments we headed back down hill past work of Andy Goldsworthy and down David Nash’s Seventy One Steps returning to the car with only the briefest glance round the lovely shop. Maybe I will get back to see the Miro exhibits before they move on in January 2013 – I hope so!

[Post updated with links 03.09.12]


11 comments on “I Miss Miro but Make a Beeline for The Bee Library

  1. ms6282 says:

    This is very spooky. Guess where I was yesterday afternoon!

    We arrived about 11:45, had a look round the Underground gallery (we’d seen the exhibition before earlier thos year) got some dinner and then took the shuttle bus up to the Longside gallery. We walked back down the hill and then round the small lake, where we saw the bee library, as we wanted to look at the new Richard Long work they’ve installed. Then it was past the Gormley and big bunny woman back up towards the main gallery.

    We must have been ships in the night!

    • Very spooky, indeed! We arrived probably around 1.30pm and left about 4.40pm. It was such a lovely day to show Yorkshire off to our friends who were visiting from London. I did a double-take when I saw your photos posted on Flickr on Saturday evening! There was ‘my’ Antony Gormley picture!

      • ms6282 says:

        “Great minds”, as they say.

        We noticed they’ve moved the Gormley statue. It’s now much more visible silhouetted against the sky. In the previous location it had a backdrop of trees that made it much more difficult to see, I thought.

      • I remember seeing it before and I think it was in the same place BUT imagine trying to move the thing!

  2. Janet D says:

    I love going to The Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It always has something new to see and the landscape makes for wonderful walks. I saw the Miro exhibition last time I visited and found it very different to my rather limited knowledge of his work. Not sure if I appreciated all of it but the section on his working techniques and studios was fascinating.I have still not managed to get to the Longside Gallery when it is open but that is something to look forward to.

  3. Rosanna says:

    We really enjoyed visiting the Yorkshire Sculpture Park with you, it was a beautiful day and the weather really showed the landscaped park to its best advantage. I loved the ‘Ten Chairs’ by Magdalena Abakanowicz and of course the Big Bunny was fun.

    We visited Alnwick Gardens last week in Northumberland and they had a water sculpture area that was fascinating.


    • Barbara Howard says:

      We did have a good time and were very lucky with the weather considering how it has been this year in Yorkshire. I visited the Alnwick Garden water sculptures but as it was a grey rainy day they didn’t have quite the desired effect! Hope to get up to Northumberland again before too long.

  4. I have always wanted to go to the sculpture park, thanks for your pics and description!

  5. […] the National Trust woodland area within which is the waterfall I noticed a sign telling about the Bee Library. I have seen one of these before at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park so knew what to look out for in […]

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