Press Story

As spring brings the promise of brighter days ahead, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) has unveiled its plans to continue its phased reopening in line with the government roadmap, and welcome visitors back to appreciate and enjoy a remarkable world-class art collection in an exceptional landscape. YSP will begin its phased reopening when the shop in the YSP Centre opens its doors on 12 April, with the Underground Gallery and this year’s headline exhibition reopening on 24 May. After more than a year of closure due to COVID-19, The Weston Restaurant and Gallery will reopen on 18 May for indoor hospitality and a new exhibition.

YSP is a unique cultural destination, museum and registered charity, welcoming diverse audiences across its 500 acres, where around 100 sculptures are sited in formal gardens, parkland, woods and around two lakes. Serving ongoing cultural learning, physical activity and mental wellbeing, throughout 2021, new exhibitions and artist projects will be launched, with narratives of identities and histories, and a material focus on textiles, photography, ceramics and the natural world. The programme platforms female practitioners, working across a range of media and scales.

Central to the programme is Beyond by celebrated Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos – a vibrant consideration of gender through materials and process traditionally defined as ‘feminine’. Displayed indoors and out, we are thrilled that this powerful, celebratory exhibition will reopen indoors in the spring and has now been extended to January 2022.

The sublime 18th century Chapel will reopen in summer with the towering porcelain sculpture 399 Days by Rachel Kneebone, and The Weston Gallery will premiere new sculpture and textile works by Annie Morris, in the autumn.

Breaking the Mould: Sculpture by Women since 1945, a major survey of female sculptors from the Arts Council Collection from post-war to the present day, opens at Longside Gallery in May. This ground-breaking exhibition aims to redefine the period and the place of women artists within it.

The Oak Project will also be unveiling its first artist commission, Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds by artists Heather and Ivan Morison from Studio Morison, at YSP. Responding to the question “Can art save us from extinction?”, the artists are developing a sculptural space made of natural materials that acts as an extended open pavilion and a quiet place set within nature, opening on World Environment Day on 5 June.

New displays by ceramicist Alison Milner and illustrator Mark Hearld will be on display in the Visitor Centre this year, with works available to purchase onsite and online. Interest-free loans through Own Art are available; all proceeds raised through sales support YSP’s exhibition and learning programmes.

YSP’s dynamic visiting artist programme continues in 2021, supporting UK and international emerging and mid-career artists, with dates to be confirmed when travel is permitted. Visiting artists include Kedisha Coakley, whose work explores post-colonial narratives; leading fashion designer Matty Bovan; Michael Forbes who probes connections between European and African cultures; and the New Zealand artist Deborah Rundle, whose intriguing project focuses on Ann Ellis and her prominent role in a weavers’ strike in 19th century West Yorkshire. Applications are also now open for the Yorkshire Graduate Award 2021, which is an exciting opportunity for a recently-graduated artist from a Yorkshire university to work and stay at YSP.

YSP Collection – new works in the open air

YSP’s open-air collection comprises long and short-term loans, and site-specific commissions. There are always around 100 sculptures and installations to discover in the open air.

This collection will welcome the new permanent displays of Tania Kovats’ Untitled in lakeside woodland in spring, and South African artist Willem Boshoff’s Flagstone in autumn. Informed by their research at YSP and practice around playful encounters, Idit Nathan and Helen Stratford’s sculptures Walking and Playing Farther Afield – created out of railway sleepers, with texts that encourage visitors to think about their environment – will be installed later in the year.

Exhibition Programme

Joana Vasconcelos: Beyond

Underground Gallery and open air

Extended until 9 January 2022

“Vasconcelos’ supersized sculptures are perfect for the environment of YSP...Once again, the artist is shown to be at her strongest when embracing the rich history of her native Portugal.” David Trigg, Art Quarterly, summer 2020

“The Joana Vasconcelos exhibition is amazing and not to be missed!” Visitor, 2020

The UK’s largest ever exhibition by celebrated Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos (b. 1971) is extended until January 2022. The project comprises vibrant, sometimes monumental, sculpture, using fabric, needlework and crochet alongside everyday objects, from a laundry drying rack to car wheel hubs. By incorporating items associated with domestic work and craft, Vasconcelos comments from a feminist perspective on national and collective identity, cultural tradition and women’s roles in society. Her 12-metre-long Valkyrie Marina Rinaldi honours the extraordinarily resilient great-grandmother of the founder of Max Mara fashion brand, whilst Marilyn articulates worlds of domesticity and celebrity in a pair of massive stiletto shoes made from stainless steel saucepans.

Vasconcelos’ work has been recognised with major exhibitions, including at the Palace of Versailles, Paris (2012), where she was the first woman and youngest artist to present a solo exhibition. In 2018 she was the first Portuguese artist to present a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Bilbao and in 2020 her Valkyrie Mumbet premièred at MassArt, Boston.

Joan Miró: Prints

Online and The Weston Gallery

Online now and in The Weston from 18 May – 5 September 2021

“I try to apply colours like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.” Joan Miró

View a special exhibition of extremely rare lithographs and etchings by Joan Miró (1893-1983), one of the most eminent artists of the 20th century, when The Weston Gallery reopens in May.

This selection of vibrant prints made in the 1970s and 80s in Miró’s studio in Palma Mallorca is a legacy of YSP’s major 2012 exhibition Miró: Sculptor. In a letter to Matisse in 1938, Joan Miró wrote of his intention to “open up new possibilities for me” through printmaking and this exhibition illustrates his mastery of lithography and etching, allowing a freedom and energy that exemplifies his devotion to the colours and earth of his beloved Catalonia, and most especially Mallorca.

The works have been generously gifted by the artist’s grandsons to help support Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the display includes an exclusive limited edition six-colour lithograph.

The project offers a rare opportunity to own work by this leading international artist and also to support YSP at a particularly challenging time, with all proceeds coming to the charity.

The Weston is open Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays.

Hardeep Sahota: Bhangra Lexicon

Online and Upper Space

Online now and in the Upper Space from 21 June 2021

Hardeep Sahota is a Huddersfield-based practitioner and specialist in Bhangra – folk song and dance originating in Punjab, South Asia. A Research Fellow at Huddersfield University and author of Bhangra: Mystics, Music and Migration, which explores the artform’s impact on British culture, Sahota also established the annual World Bhangra Day.

This exhibition grew out of Sahota’s academic research and gives vibrant visual form to dance movements through the fascinating medium of light painting. Dancers from a number of different disciplines – including Irish dancing and breakdancing as well as Bhangra – perform key moves whilst holding coloured lights in semi-darkness, so that every nuance of their actions can be traced using long exposure photography.

The project also explores the relationship between movement and image to present a formal repertoire of Bhangra steps, so creating a visual dictionary of Bhangra and more aptly, a Bhangra Lexicon – an online resource for learners to inscribe into their own practice.

Alison Milner: Decorative Minimalist

YSP Centre

27 March - 27 June 2021

Sussex-based designer Alison Milner is widely known for ceramicware, tiles, furniture and illustrations, from finely-decorated bowls to large-scale murals and drawings in hospital settings and parks. She often explores the relationship between nature and the built environment through work made for domestic settings and public art projects, preferring to work in sustainable and natural materials such as clay, wood, paper, glass and enamel.

For this new exhibition, Alison has made a wonderful, wall-sized ceramic tile tableau that reimagines YSP and its sculpture collection, featuring the birds and beasts that live there. All the work in this exhibition is available to purchase, including limited edition tiles that serve as exquisite mementos of YSP.

Breaking the Mould: Sculpture by Women since 1945

An Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition

Longside Gallery

29 May – 5 September 2021

Breaking the Mould: Sculpture by Women since 1945 will launch at Longside Gallery in May. This major Arts Council Collection Touring Exhibition seeks to redefine post-war British sculpture by presenting a diverse range of work by women. Spanning more than 70 years, this extensive survey – the first of its kind – provides a radical recalibration, addressing the many accounts of British sculpture that have marginalised women or airbrushed their work out of the art historical canon altogether. Through this deliberately restorative act, the exhibition seeks to inspire future generations, supporting the principle ‘if she can see it, she can be it’.

Breaking the Mould: Sculpture by Women since 1945 represents the work of 50 sculptors including Barbara Hepworth, Elisabeth Frink, Kim Lim, Cornelia Parker, Rachel Whiteread and Anthea Hamilton. After Longside Gallery, the exhibition will tour to The New Art Gallery Walsall; Djanogly Art Gallery, University of Nottingham; The Levinsky Gallery, University of Plymouth, and Ferens Art Gallery, Hull.

The exhibition is part of the Arts Council Collection’s 75th anniversary celebrations.

Breaking the Mould: Sculpture by Women since 1945 is accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication produced by Hayward Gallery Publishing.

The exhibition is open Thursday to Sunday and Bank Holidays, 11am - 4pm.

Rachel Kneebone: 399 Days


From 10 July 2021

Presented in the contemplative space of the 18th century Chapel, 399 Days (2012-13) by Rachel Kneebone is the artist’s most ambitious project to date. Inspired by themes of transformation and renewal, it is named after the length of time it took her to make, is over five-metres in height and comprises 63 exterior panels.

399 Days echoes historic monuments such as Trajan’s Column, a plaster cast of which is displayed in the Cast Court of the V&A, where 399 Days was also shown 2017-19.

Monumental in scale yet exquisite in detail, 399 Days is a tour de force born of intense emotions, expressing movement and energy in a medium more commonly associated with stillness. The unique architecture of the Chapel allows for a view of the sculpture at height from the upper balcony, where drawings from Kneebone’s Exile series can be seen. The exhibition is completed by Roll (2017), placed in the tiny chapel vestry.

Kate Daudy and Kostya Novoselov: Chaos

Bothy Gallery and open air

8 September – 6 October 2021

Drawing on their individual specialisms, Daudy and Novoselov are developing a body of work exploring the theme ‘chaos’. Particular areas of investigation include the mathematical theory of chaos, the creation of the universe, chaos as a catalyst for progress, and time. Works will include large crochet wall hangings, sculptures and works on paper.

Kate Daudy is a British visual artist recognised for her work exploring and re-evaluating the human experience in the context of the natural world. She is interested in illuminating power structures and using the visual arts as a means of bringing about discourse that might contribute toward social and political change.

With a history of collaborating with artists, Russian Kostya Novoselov has been working with Daudy for the past three years. Novoselov is best known for his ground-breaking experiments on graphene, the strongest and thinnest material in existence. The achievement earned Professors Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010.

Annie Morris

The Weston Gallery

16 September 2021 – 5 February 2022

YSP curates the first UK solo museum show of tapestry works and sculpture by London-based artist Annie Morris. Made specifically for this exhibition, The Weston Gallery will feature Morris’ iconic pigment sculptures alongside ‘thread paintings’, both referencing the history of art as well as the artist’s personal experience of grief.

The sculptures are precariously balanced towers of pigmented lumpen spheres. Formed by hand in plaster and sand and cast in bronze, the spherical forms are painted with hand-sourced, raw pigments in vivid hues such as Ultramarine, Viridian and Ochre; colour that is so bound into the form that it seems to become the material of the sculpture. The Stacks convey both instability and bold defiance. Morris’s drawing and tapestry combine personal ciphers with mark-making and grid-like structures that sit between abstraction and figuration, creating a singular intimacy.

The Weston is open Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays.

Mark Hearld: Raucous Invention: The Joy of Making

YSP Centre

13 November 2021 – 27 February 2022

Illustrator Mark Hearld (b. 1974) is known for lithographs, paintings and collages that take inspiration from the flora and fauna of the British countryside. His exhibition at YSP includes a new collection of collages and paintings as well as limited edition three-dimensional pieces with a focus on plant life, foliage and animals.

With several special collaborations planned, alongside approximately 60-70 wall hung collages and limited-edition linocut and screen prints created during the past year, Hearld has ambitious plans to create some vibrant new work including 3D sculptures and a large-scale mural. Working from his studio in York, Hearld is working with Yorkshire based artists and craftspeople as well as a very special collaboration with Leach Pottery in St. Ives, to ensure this show is filled with exciting, challenging works never seen before.

All the work in this exhibition will be available to purchase.

Artist Awards

Yorkshire Graduate Award, Te Tuhi, Royal College of Art, University of the Arts London

YSP presents a diverse and energetic programme that supports talent development at every stage of an artist’s career. This includes our annual visiting artist awards with the Royal College of Art, University of the Arts London, and the Yorkshire Graduate Award, which gives artists access to networking, mentoring and facilities to make work at YSP, often resulting in a project.

Sheffield Hallam University graduate Kedisha Coakley joins YSP in spring to develop new bronze sculptures, responding to the site and the work of Henry Moore, with a pop-up exhibition later in the year. She aims to extend her practice by reconsideration of the social and historical narratives bound up with objects of different cultures.

Michael Forbes, recipient of the Royal College of Art Award, will continue his exploration of contemporary racial politics, migration, blackness and whiteness in relation to universal debates on wealth, history and religion.

Deborah Rundle will take up a four-week residency in partnership with Te Tuhi, one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary art spaces. Rundle will research and develop new work in response to the 1875 Woollen Weavers’ Strike in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire and the key figure of labour activist Ann Ellis, linking actions from the past with contemporary labour issues. This Artist Award is supported by philanthropists Sigrid and Stephen Kirk.

Ellie Niblock, recipient of University of the Arts London Award, will join us to consider the issue of waste in the art world and how human activity is detrimental to the wellbeing of our planet, through the process of building on old objects, recycling materials and collecting found objects to create new works.

Dates will be confirmed for 2021/22 artist residencies when travel restrictions permit.

Future opportunities will be announced via the YSP jobs page.

Applications are now open for the Yorkshire Graduate Award 2021.

Performances, events and interventions

Rebecca Chesney: Our Future Sorrows

Online and open air

1 April – 30 September 2021

Rebecca Chesney was a visiting artist in 2010, working from her boathouse studio in the nature reserve. Working with the FERA Regional Bee Inspector, Chesney introduced two new honeybee colonies to the site, which continue to thrive under the care of the Bee Inspector and produce honey that is sold in the YSP Shop.

Chesney will return in 2021 one day a month for six months to again map the bees at YSP and the plants they feed on, highlighting any changes over the last decade and contributing to her ongoing research. Visitors will be invited to identify bees and contribute to a digital map of sightings onsite at

Studio Morison: Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds / The Oak Project

Open air

From 5 June 2021

This spring, The Oak Project launches its first artist commission, Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds, hosted at YSP, by artists Heather and Ivan Morison from Studio Morison.

Responding to the question “Can art save us from extinction?”, the artists are developing a sculptural space made of natural materials including timber and thatch that acts as an extended open pavilion and becomes a framework and quiet space set within nature.

Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds will be installed alongside Upper Lake at YSP within a stand of birch trees and will invite visitors to stop and connect, to consider and experience and to listen to their natural surroundings. Over time, the work will become part of the landscape as the natural weather contributes to its decomposition.

The Oak Project is a partnership between Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the University of Derby and the Bronze Oak Project Ltd, a not-for-profit that promotes art as a way to create nature connection.

Matty Bovan: Boomerang

Participatory installation, Bothy Gallery

22 – 26 October 2021

Boomerang is an immersive, participatory, art installation by leading fashion designer Matty Bovan, which raises timely questions about identity and who controls it in a digital age of mass self-publishing and image circulation.

Bovan has established an international fashion practice, including collaborations with Louis Vuitton and Miu Miu and a fanbase of celebrities such as Adwoa Aboah, Rita Ora and Björk, as well as showing at London Fashion Week 2020. Based in Yorkshire, Bovan acknowledges YSP as a formative influence and in 2019 undertook a research residency in YSP’s National Arts Education Archive from which Boomerang has evolved.

Agostino Quaranta

DJ performance in Skyspace

As part of Agostino Quaranta’s TURBO SUD Lab exhibition opening, YSP will host a live performance by the artist, in the form of a DJ set in James Turrell’s Deer Shelter Skyspace. The mix will showcase an archive of music experiments by a range of music producers and by the artist himself, sampling rhythms, melodies and vocals from Southern Italian Tarantella music and its regional variations.

Hannah and Jasmine Cash

Pop-Up Exhibition

Hannah Cash, YSP’s 2019 Yorkshire Graduate Award recipient, returns in 2021 as visiting artist with her collaborator and sister Jasmine. Their work examines the movement of bodies and their physical engagement within a landscape – developing a medium that encompasses drawing, choreography and film.