I'd wanted to go for ages, but never got around to it, but on Monday I went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, just up the M1 from me.
Some friends of mine from church had been telling me how great this place was, in particular some of the stuff by Andy Goldsworthy. He does some amazing work with natural materials, wood, stone, plant stalks. There were four really big rooms, each with some construction using one of these different natural substances. One of the rooms had this massive screen made out of twig/stalk bits from blackthorn bushes (from which we get sloes....mmmmm....tasty sloe gin), all held together by spiky bits from blackthorn bushes.
Another room, my favourite, had been created into what I imagine it must be like inside a beaver's lodge. It was like a large cocoon of logs, all lying on top of one another, making a remarkably warm, cosy space. This picture doesn't really do it justice, but you get the idea.
The room was huge, initially really dark, to the point that you couldn't see other peoeple who were stood around the side of the room in the shadows.
I found it really breathtaking, it looked stunning, it smelt really good, it felt so warm, and was just incredible to think about the effort needed in putting it all together.
The rest of the park was really good too, the weather was good for walking, especially considering what it has been like recently. My friend and I had lots of conversations about 'what is art', and we spent an awfully long time watching a heron, which was so still, and so perfectly positioned, that we felt sure it was some sneakily placed sculpture. Eventually, after at least ten minutes, it moved. But just because it was a real heron, that moved and everything, does it make it any less art?
Anyway....it was a really good day, and if you get the chance to go there, I would take it. The Andy Goldsworthy stuff is only there until the beginning of January, but well worth a visit.