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you wait ten or so years to visit a Sculpture Park . . .

January 14, 2013

We have a bit of snow today, enough to make it look pretty, but it’s all thawing again now, which is rather a shame. It wasn’t too heavy for Boy Wonder to get to school for his exam this morning, which was important, but now that he’s exam free until Friday we wouldn’t really mind a snow day or two, though I would have to tidy the sitting room again (no, really? I hear you cry) before we could have sledgers in for cake.

Anyway, that wasn’t really the thrust of today’s post, you may have gathered. Happily, we didn’t let the forecast of snow stop us from heading over the Pennines yesterday to visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park. We hadn’t been there for ages (possibly about ten years) until just a couple of weeks ago when we arranged to meet up with the Super Stitcher and her family for an afternoon’s walk just after New Year. It’s changed and developed, but a great place to go, and I don’t really understand how it dropped off our radar for so long. Our first walk there was remarkably muddy, but reminded us of the place’s potential for an interesting afternoon.

Yesterday’s return was not an attempt to improve the average number of our visits over the years, but because Boy Wonder was sad to discover that there was to be an exhibition by the sculptor James Capper, who makes big, mechanical “earth markers,” but it hadn’t opened yet. We returned to see this exhibition, and to make the most of the crisp, clear day, and it was fascinating in a definitely more engineering than art sort of a way. That’s what we thought anyway, but who are we to know?

If you do decide to go take a look, I recommend Sunday afternoon, as that’s when the big sculptures get fired up and demonstrated. It also provides an opportunity to meet the man himself, who really looks much more like a gentleman farmer than an artist (or indeed a mechanic). He was very quiet, friendly and happy to answer questions. I particularly liked that way that when he finished a demonstration he just climbed out of the cab, switched off the engine and strolled away like it wasn’t really anything to do with him. If you’re quick, you could also see Mark Hearld‘s Birds and Beasts – I was very tempted by the wood pigeons!

A beautiful walk, great views, interesting things to talk about oh, and the restaurant has very good food too. All in all, a good day.

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