Monday, September 18, 2006

Yorkshire Sculpture Park mostly

Bob's and my weekend jaunt to the Sculpture Park worked out excellently. Apart from minor glitches like 'which side of the motorway is our Travelodge on?' National Trust chairman Peter would tell you that that was eminently forseeable. He has named me 'Graham The Navigator' and it isn't due to ageing - I was just as bad when I was travelling about the country in my job. I once hired a taxi to drive from one city-location to another while I followed in my car. Such are the benefits of being on expenses. No matter. We had a great time - a veritable photo-fest. And so much stimulating art to savour.

The working title for this picture is 'Bungus confronts Henry Moore'

The Travelodge was fine, at the rear of a Moto services. Basic, clean, well-equipped and Bob got us a great bargain with a room-rate of £25. The full rate is £49. and they managed to put us in adjoining rooms on the ground floor. All Travelodges apparently are either at airports or motorway service areas and this one was really handy for where we needed to be. We ate there a couple of times, and the breakfast bacon-sandwiches were in fact, very good.

YSB itself is simplicity itself to find. Bob was in charge of 'route' and even I didn't get lost on the way there. We arrived within minutes of our ETA and they had saved me an electric scooter which was very useful on the first day. There was plenty to occupy us for two days. On the second day I took my time, and managed to walk (with frequent stops) - which wasn't a problem 'cos there was so much to look at and enjoy. We were both tired by the end of each day, but what the hell?

This Barbara Hepworth was amazing (one of several of hers) and one really needs the surroundings to appreciate work like this. And to be able to walk up close, around, and then back abit. The whole park is 500acres of mixed parkland, hillside and woodland plus of course a lake - but I didn't get that far. We allowed 2 days and didn't see everything by any means. The light-installations in the underground gallery were stimulating. Until now I have only seen such things on the TV when one has won an award but, in real life, these were so good. It is too difficult to describe them - they need seeing; it's as simple as that.

Not every single exhibit appealed to my taste but this Henry Moore 'reclining figure' certainly did. To savour the piece, one has to see it in situ, gazing over the valley towards the distant hillside - the figure that is, not the viewer. Great art is so memorable. The number of children with their parents, was surprising. And they were happy and contented. Not fractious and bored as you would half expect. But they can run about and touch things and explore. Perhaps art-loving parents rear well-behaved kids. Now, there's a topic for a doctorate!

My new Nikon was a joy and I am delighted with the quality of the images. And they were taken on 'auto-everything'. The more demanding bits will follow in due course, but there are so many buttons and the manual is necessary for me to understand each one. Y and I have been in our regular telephone contact and she reports having a most enjoyable time. She will be tired (but happy) when she returns and I am looking forward to seeing her Casio pictures' some of which will be of an MA art exhibition by the husband of one of Debra's friends.

Just a few more piccies of YSB tomorrow and then back to normal..............

1 comment:

bungus said...

Yes, it was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend away (much better than the optional wedding reception with disco) and, even though G does go on a bit (or ‘abit’ as he would put it) I am sure that I would not have had anything near such a good time on my own.
But I can understand why, when I am out with any of my friends, it makes Sandra think of ‘Last of the Summer Wine’.

What G does not mention, although I hope he will tell Chairnan Peter, is the journey back to the Travelodge on Day Two. On leaving the Sculpture Park, we inadvertently turned right instead of left and thus gained access to the southbound lane of the M1 at Junction 38 instead of 39. Only after passing other junctions and seeing ‘next Junction Sheffield’, did we realise that we had erred. But what is an extra 26 miles when you are only tired and thirsty?

I would just add that the service at Travelodge was, in the best Yorkshire style, friendly and efficient, polite without being servile. And I thought we ate pretty well all round; my pub meal of liver & onions on Saturday evening and Sunday lunch’s crayfish cob at the YSP being particularly good.


Our route was obtained online from the AA. Although apparently confusing to read (the Travelodge being on both sides of the motorway was the reason for that) it worked out all right in use.

Although we did not see everything, and I would happily return, I reckon nearly two full days (12.00 till 5.30 and 10.00 till 4.30) was about enough.
As at the Travelodge, the staff at YSP were brilliant. Most of them still at Primary School, but incredibly well informed and articulate.

To anyone who ‘doesn’t like Modern Art’ (ie, from the last 120 years or so) I would urge them to see some in the round or on the wall (some exhibits I would describe as ‘pictures’). Like ‘Classical’ or ‘Traditional’ Art, it will not be all things to all people but I would be amazed if anybody did not find much to admire, entertain, delight or inform. Watching the Turner Prize on the telly does not go halfway to comparison with actually seeing and moving around works like, for example, James Turrell’s ‘Deer Shelter’ and ‘Underground Light Installations’ or Kenny Hunter’s meticulous ‘as found’ objects combined with ‘not quite realistic’ human and animal forms.
Then there are the Henry Moore’s and Barbara Hepworth’s, etc, etc …

G’s new camera is something else. Of course it is – he wouldn’t want two the same. All metaphorical bells and whistles, and I would not have the patience to learn it or the stamina to carry it.
I liked the old Beetles (I owned 7 or so over 15 years); no petrol gauge, no water, no oil (between changes), no new tyres (not for 70,00 miles anyway) and no worries provided you kept your foot hard down round the bends.