As part of our course with University we were able to go on a trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield as part of our artist research for the second project “Environment & Context/Where Art Belongs”. It was useful to be able to look at a medium in art, sculpture, that I don’t normally engage with and don’t make myself, especially in a countryside setting. Viewing art in a very different context to the typical “white box” gallery is a really different experience and can change the way we view the work and the meanings we get from it.
I didn’t make any sketches while I walked around, because I wanted to just focus on taking in my surroundings and being in the moment looking at the work or the scenery. The weather was really good – cold clear autumn – and because we were there all day it was nice to see the changing light on the work.
The artist Not Vital was the main exhibitor at the park, with a lot of outdoor sculpture as well as the indoor galleries. His work was really abstract, and dealt with interesting ideas about relationships between people or between objects and landscape. Not all of his work was ‘my style’ but I still tried to engage with it as best I could.
There were various other artists exhibiting that I took an interest in, including Kate Daudy, Bob and Roberta Smith, and KAWS.
Overall I quite enjoyed spending a day at the sculpture park even if I didn’t do a lot of work in reaction to it. It was good just to have time to immerse myself in art, which I like to do by visiting galleries every once in a while, and to gain new influences I wouldn’t have had previously. It was also nice to come when there are a lot of sculptures I haven’t seen before- it’s often the case for me that I just see the same things over and over at YSP. Contemporary art is a very wide and varied category, and today has made me realise how the environment in which an artwork is places can often be just as important as the work itself, so in this project I need to consider where I put my work, why, and what messages this communicates.