News Story

YSP’s 2024 programme is driven by international women artists, including the Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye’s first museum solo exhibition, where she will showcase new work. Focusing on and celebrating themes of diversity, discovery and personal identity, the programme offers an exploration of the past, present and future of sculpture.

These themes will be amplified through the Park’s public and learning programmes, supporting the wellbeing of people and planet, and contributing to the organisation’s charitable mission in line with Arts Council England’s Let’s Create strategy. The 10-year strategy’s aim is to ensure England is a country where creativity is valued and able to flourish, with every person given the chance to access high quality cultural experiences. YSP’s championing of access and artistic diversity was recently recognised by judges of the 2023 Yorkshire Post Tourism Awards, who awarded it both the Tourist Attraction of the Year and the Culture Award.

2024 highlights include an extensive exhibition of works by eminent artist Bharti Kher, who was born in the UK and now lives and works in the UK and India, and Ugandan/US artist Leilah Babirye. In different ways, both women explore topics of inequity and vulnerability due to gender or sexual identity, whilst celebrating female strength and substance. Babirye’s work will be shown in the Chapel and Kher’s in the Underground Gallery and outdoors.

In The Weston Gallery, YSP will present an archive exhibition of works by influential and much-admired 20th-century artist Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930 – 1993). An early supporter of YSP as the UK’s national sculpture park, Frink’s sculpture has been part of its collection for many years, a selection of which was included in a memorial exhibition in 1993.

Throughout the year, a programme of exceptional craft, printmaking and painting exhibitions by artists with international heritage now based in Yorkshire will open in YSP Centre.

Japanese-born, Huddersfield-based Yukihiro Akama’s intricately carved wooden houses will be shown from 9 March. Collected worldwide, his exceptional artworks are beautifully made from single pieces of wood, inspired by real and imagined architecture to create unique houses, ranging in size from 4cm to 106cm in height.

In summer, York-based painter Carol Douglas, who began painting in her 60s and is inspired by everyday objects and people, presents a stunning new body of work. For the Christmas retail exhibition, printmaker Sarah Kirby will present a series of original linocuts inspired by landmarks and the landscape of YSP, made with oil-based inks to create a bold graphic quality.

Continuing a strong legacy in supporting artist development, four residencies continue this year: New Zealand artist Deborah Rundle will exhibit at YSP Centre in the autumn, reflecting on her time as artist in residence in 2022. Astrid Butt, 2023 Yorkshire Graduate Award recipient, and YSP / Laureate Fund Resident Keisha Thompson will both complete their their residencies this year with public events. Joining the programme is visionary, multidisciplinary artist Nwando Ebizie, who undertakes her embedded residency this year.

Explore 2024 Exhibitions

  1. A collection of carved wood and ceramic figures in a gallery.

    Leilah Babirye: Obumu (Unity)

    Leilah Babirye's clan of larger-than-life-size figures have been carved from trees that had reached the end of their life in the Park.
  2. A display of miniature carved wooden houses.

    Yukihiro Akama: Basho no Kankaku – A Sense of Place 場所の感覚

    Enter Yukihiro Akama’s world of intricately carved wooden houses of various sizes – from the size of a 50p piece to over 1m tall – each carved from a single piece of wood.
  3. A lithograph print of a garden in shades of yellow and green

    Sarah Kirby

    Sarah Kirby is a linocut printmaker. She uses oil-based inks to create original prints with a bold graphic quality that are inspired by public spaces, buildings, gardening, plants and trees.
  4. A painting of a bowl of fruit on a checked table cloth.

    Carol Douglas: Actually I Can

    York-based painter Carol Douglas retrained as a painter in her 60s after being discouraged from an art career in her youth, painting with rollers rather than the traditional paint brush.
  5. A woman with long blonde hair working on a piece of metal at a workspace.

    Yorkshire Artspace: Maker Showcase

    YSP and Yorkshire Artspace have collaborated to showcase work by 17 exceptional makers in YSP Centre, spanning contemporary ceramics, silversmithing, jewellery and leather work.
  6. A bronze sculpture of a horse lying down.

    Elisabeth Frink: Natural Connection

    Plan a visit to see this very special exhibition of exceptional sculpture and prints that celebrate animals and the human form.
  7. A sculpture of a woman with a giant cows head.

    Bharti Kher: Alchemies

    An unmissable, powerful exhibition of sculpture and 2D work by one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, opening on Saturday 22 June.
  8. A black woman with her arms in the air, wearing a costume of long black strings
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    Nwando Ebizie

    Embedded Residency 2024-25
  9. A person with dramatic black eye makeup
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    Astrid Butt

    Yorkshire Graduate Award 2023
  10. Profile

    Keisha Thompson

    Poet in Residence 2023
  11. The artist Deborah Rundle sitting in a chair next to a wooden sculpture
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    Deborah Rundle

    YSP and Te Tuhi New Zealand-UK Residency Award