Leeds & West Yorkshire

Yorkshire Sculpture park marks 40th anniversary

Jaume Plensa, Spiegel, 2010 Image copyright Jonty Wilde
Image caption Yorkshire Sculpture Park was founded in 1977 with a £1,000 grant

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is staging a weekend of special events to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The park, near Wakefield, was founded in 1977 by Peter Murray and has been expanded from 10 to 500 acres in size.

It started with a £1,000 grant from Yorkshire Arts, but now attracts more than 500,000 visitors each year.

The park includes work by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Joan Miro, Ai Weiwei, Tony Cragg, Andy Goldsworthy and Antony Gormley.

Image copyright Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Image copyright Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Image caption Michael Lyons (left) and founder Peter Murray

Mr Murray, who was a lecturer in art education at Bretton Hall College, on the same site, when he set up the park, said: "One of the great pleasures is seeing it used by the public.

"Anybody who tells you people are not interested in contemporary art is talking nonsense.

"All you have to do is come to the sculpture park and look at the way people engage with the work - it's quite amazing."

Image copyright Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Image caption Alf Dunn, Quiet Conversation
Image copyright Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Image caption Andy Goldsworthy with Dandelion Circle
Image copyright Jonty Wilde
Image caption Magdalena Abakanowicz, Twenty Standing Figures

The park was named the Art Fund museum of the year in 2014, beating venues such as Tate Britain and the Mary Rose Museum to the £100,000 prize.

A study carried out in 2011 said the park brought in about £5m to the local economy.

Image copyright Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Image caption Elisbeth Frink, Dying King
Image copyright Jonty Wilde
Image caption Peter Randall-Page, The Fruit of Mythological Trees
Image copyright Jonty Wilde
Image caption Sophie Ryder, Pink Lady Hare Dancing with Big Brown Dog

In September 2015, the park said 100,000 people visited to see the Wave poppy sculpture, which had previously been on display at the Tower of London

The celebrations include the opening of a new exhibition, Occasional Geometries, curated by Bangladeshi-born artist Rana Begum.

Image copyright Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Image caption David Nash, Standing Frame
Image copyright Jonty Wilde
Image caption Tony Cragg, Caldera
Image copyright PA
Image caption Wave - part of Blood-Swept Lands and Seas of Red by ceramic artist Paul Cummins

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