The Yorkshire Art Scene
Yorkshire is typically a place that people travel to enjoy the peace and quiet of country life. It is one of the most beautiful and scenic destinations in the United Kingdom; greenery, open spaces, and stunning nature wherever you look. The outdoors might be the beauty you expect to see in Yorkshire, but there’s also another kind of beauty waiting for you: the incredible Yorkshire art scene.
In Yorkshire, you’ll be able to see amazing street art, contemporary art, sculpture gardens, traditional art, and exhibitions featuring both local and international artists. Let’s take a look at all of the art venues you can check out on your next trip to Yorkshire.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
What better way to experience art than in the great outdoors? The Yorkshire Sculpture Park just outside of Wakefield is an unmissable stop on your art tour of Yorkshire. The park is home to permanent sculptures but also visiting works that may not be available for you to see the next time you’re in the area, so you take advantage of what’s there before it’s gone. There are over sixty sculptures for you to explore on a 500-acre plot of land. Visitors get to walk the countryside and experience the Yorkshire outdoors while enriching their cultural lives. Some of the world in the park are from some of the world’s most well-known contemporary artists, such as Andy Goldsworthy and Antony Gormley.
Another lovely Wakefield art location, The Hepworth, is the most extensive gallery to have been built in the United Kingdom in the last fifty years. The Hepworth is not only famous as one of Europe’s finest contemporary art galleries, but it is also well known for its unique architecture and, of course, its artworks. The gallery takes its name from local sculptor Barbara Hepworth. It houses an extensive collection of her work in a permanent exhibition, as well as changing exhibitions by a host of other artists. The gallery’s main focus in terms of the work it displays is contemporary and modern, very much in line with Barbara Hepworth’s work.
The Henry Moore Institute
Though it is an integral part of the Leeds Sculpture Triangle (YSP, the Hepworth, and the Leeds Art Gallery), the Henry Moore Institute is well known for its framed works. The institute also features beautiful pieces of sculpture, both ancient and modern. The institute is also home to a vast reference library, an archive, and a lecture theatre where students and art lovers can assemble to hear many exciting talks and take part in workshops. It is one stop with many exciting kinds of art to feast your eyes on.
Manchester Street Art Trail
There is an incredible collection of street art and graffiti in Manchester;’s Northern Quarter. It’s the city’s hipster haven and the perfect place to get a little modern art culture while you’re visiting the city. The huge murals on this trail were painted during the Cities of Hope street art festival, which highlights social injustice and raises money for local charities. You can start with the painting of David Bowie done on a disused block of public toilets. This piece was painted by French street artist Akse for the Out House Project.
Leeds Art Gallery
This gallery space has recently undergone some improvements. The space now boasts a more polished feel but still showcases the original Victorian glass roof, which lets in glorious natural light. The Leeds Art Gallery houses a plethora of contemporary artworks by a wide range of artists such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. You can’t miss this stop on the Yorkshire art route.
It’s not a place where you would expect to encounter the largest permanent collection of Davis Hockney’s works, but it’s where they live! In an old mill in a tiny town near to Bradford sits a glorious stone mill that has been transformed into a multipurpose space holding antique stores, book stores, restaurants, and three art gallery spaces. The 1853 Gallery is where you’ll find the Hockney works: truly iconic pieces as well as some of his lesser-known sketches. The gallery also features some of his newer work; The Arrival of Spring is a showcase of original works drawn by Hockney on his iPad in 2011.
Another wonderful Yorkshire gallery housed in a historic building is The Tetley. Not only can you look at beautiful art, but there are also learning spaces within the gallery which provide a space for innovation and creativity. This Leeds gallery, which is curated by Project Space Leeds, aims to change people’s perception of art. It hosts exhibitions and residencies, of course, but also public events. Here you can discover the next big thing or peruse the worlds of well-known contemporary artists.
Yorkshire is the place to experience art in the UK. Will you be visiting soon?