Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Hepworth Wakefield




Yesterday I visited The Hepworth, Wakefield, a gallery about 40 minutes away from us which I have been meaning to get to since it opened in 2011. We are spoilt for sculpture in Yorkshire as we already have the excellent Yorkshire Sculpture Park, but The Hepworth is a unique and striking building and it had the bonus of being warm and inside, which is preferable on a cold January day.

I met my good friend Debora there, and her delightful, chatty, cheeky three year old son. We didn't have quite as long to linger in each gallery space as we'd have liked (the curators get awfully twitchy when little ones try to interact with the art...*) but it was still great to visit. You approach the gallery from the car park via a footbridge over the canal, which gives you a long time to study and appreciate the building as you walk up to it. I liked that. 


But the main thing that struck me was the architecture of the building's interior, particularly the dramatic sense of space - wide, white rooms and long, shiny corridors. I enjoyed the way the windows made art of the outside views, framing the industrial Wakefield landscape and grey skies. I spent as much time looking outwards as I did at the pieces inside.



We had a coffee which turned into lunch and spent a happy time in the cafe, the three of us chatting and playing snap. Outside there is more art to explore and a playground where we braved the cold wind and admired the views of the canal.


It is was a lovely day, a real mid-week treat.

***********************************************

*To be fair, the gallery is very child friendly indeed, with a really fantastic activity pack and trail to follow, lots of activities at the weekend and in the holidays, a playground etc, but these are perhaps better aimed at slightly older children, over five or six years old at least. 

26 comments:

  1. We got a book on Barbara Hepworth for Christmas, and we went to her gallery/workshop/house in St Ives a few years ago, which we loved, so I am very jealous that you got to visit here! Glad that you enjoyed it. I love the way her sculptures are so rounded and soft and curvy, I don't know, can't explain. I love them though! xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sound like you had a great day
    Clare x

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love seeing places like this, which I may never get to visit in person, but which are easily accessed by others near where they live. I'm so glad you had a nice day. I am itching to have more time to visit museums and galleries again. I'm hoping to do more of that soon. Thanks for sharing, it looks like a very interesting place.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a true mid week delight Gillian, immersing yourself in the beauty of architecture and some amazing sculpture whilst being in good company x

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Barbara Hepworth in St Ives is hands down my favourite place to visit, and little ones can touch the sculptures within it. If you ever get to visit West Cornwall, it is a must see place. I shall make a note to do a blog post about it some time. This museum looks wonderful. I've always been a huge admirer of Hepworth. Wonderful. And lunch too? Perfect!

    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like you had a great day and I love the sculptures, light and windows. I hadn't heard of her work which is probably very ignorant of me so thank you for sharing this. I'm not sure how I feel about the outside of the building. I don't think it helps that I misread the first picture as 'HMP' Hepworth Wakefield and was a bit mystified! I think the contrast of angularity and curves is probably very powerful but still ambivalent about the sharp grey building. However, the café bar sounds right up my street.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That looks very interesting and definitely wasn't there the last time I was in Wakefield. Glad you had a nice time. Take care and have a lovely weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've been there too. It's a great day out and some fabulous artworks to see. Have a great weekend. Jacqui x

    ReplyDelete
  9. The photos of your visit left me feeling clean and spacious in my thinking :) Your comments reminded me of going with my oldest daughter to a Portland art museum when her oldest two girls were young stroller age. The girls got tired and their wails echoed through many of the exhibits. Oh my..... :) I am glad you had a happier time, Gillian! xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. I just love the pictures you shared especially the last one. A splash of color on a cold grey winter day makes everything better :) lovely day with your friend... What a gift.

    ReplyDelete
  11. A wonderful way to spend a cold January day. Time with your friend with lunch and in such inspiring surroundings.
    Lisa x

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for sharing this with us Gillian, it looks like an interesting place.
    I think I would have been gazing out of the windows too....so nice that you can do that.
    I must say I like your last photo the best....it's stunning.
    Jacquie x

    ReplyDelete
  13. This looks like a great place to visit, thank you for sharing. I shall have to see if it is doable in a day from where I live :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a lovely day to yourself. Happy in creative surroundings :) Hazel x

    ReplyDelete
  15. So glad you had a wonderful mid-week treat.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am not enough in art and I have been working on changing that since last year. I will keep on this year as well. Thanks for sharing your visit.

    ReplyDelete
  17. We've been to The Hepworth before and really enjoyed it. I also loved the artworks inside as well as the landscape outside. At that time my older daughter was about 19 months and she joined in with some art activities they were having for kids that day but it's not a regular event. The playground and trails outside are fantastic but I agree they're more suitable for school age kids.
    I'm glad you had a lovely time with your friend. Your post and photos have made me want to go for another visit.
    Marion x

    ReplyDelete
  18. what a lovely way to spend a day. I have always loved visiting galleries, something I have not done for awhile but this post has reminded me to do more of this so thank you for such lovely pictures

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love Barbara Herpworth - and love the architecture of that building. Great contrasts between the curves and angular lines. Looks like a fabulous way to spend a day! x

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a lovely mid week treat ... precious time stolen away for your self ... good for you ... Bee xx

    ReplyDelete
  21. It looks like a really great place to visit, very inspirational. Your photos are lovely. Glad you had a good time, and some time to catch up with a friend - one of the very best tonics I think. Hope you have a fab weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  22. It's a shame that children aren't encouraged in galleries especially when the sculptures wouldn't be damaged. We were thrown out of an installation in Paris because the boys were enjoying it too much! Enjoyed the post and would love to visit. Xxx

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a nice mid-week, mid-winter treat! It looks like a really interesting building even before you start looking at the art. Something to add to the 'must visit' list for when I'm next up in Yorkshire. x

    ReplyDelete
  24. Looks really interesting, it is on my list as a place to go and visit. I love the Sculpture Park, the recent Angie Lewin exhibition there was great.

    ReplyDelete
  25. What an amazing building. Like you I'm constantly drawn to windows and views outside so would have found those picture windows irresistible. x

    ReplyDelete

Hello there! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I read them all avidly, every last one, and I always try to answer questions.