As I mentioned before, I spent one day last week in Yorkshire Sculpture Park with a good friend of mine. I do relish getting out of Leeds on a school day, driving away from home, school, housework, responsibilities...it makes me feel as though I'm bunking off from the Job Of Mum and I find it slightly thrilling, I have to admit. Also, I still find being child free during the day pretty exhilarating. No buggy. No change bag. Just me and my friend with our own agenda, going at our own pace.
As I drove south down the M1 the weather was appalling; torrential rain, black skies...I did wonder if we'd spend the whole morning in the cafe and gift shop (look, I wont lie, I would not consider that a wasted trip by any means.) But, as I parked, the rain stopped and the sun attempted to shine in a watery, November fashion. It was quite breathtaking and we put on our wellies and set off.
One of the many great things about the park is the flexibilty of the space. Long walks, short walks, lakeside walks, woodland walks, picnic spots, views, beautiful architecture...it's all there. We set off towards the lake and walked for maybe a hour and a half.
The leaves made the most wonderful reflections in the water.
And everywhere you look, there is the art, the sculpture. So thoughtfully placed that it looks as if it's always been there, that it grew out of the landscape.
This lit up horse galloped continually. I was quite mesmerized by it.
The piece below is my favourite. I love the way it glowed through the trees.
Close up it was quite spectacular.
Then, after all that grey and black, all that bronze and stone, this triumphant, colourful celebration of the female form was a joy to look at.
|Niki De Saint Phalle|
We looked at more, but eventually our tummies rumbled and we stopped for lunch. The cafe is really good. I had "Boston Beans" - homemade, smokey baked beans, chorizo, a poached egg and chips, with a cup of tea. It occurred to me that I'd eaten a very middle class, organic, sustainably sourced version of ham, egg, chips and beans. It was good. Then, an hour (yes, a whole hour - no kids!) in the shop, which is really well stocked with some lovely products, well worth a look around. I bought a few Christmas presents and a few bits for me, including this tree*. I have a thing about bare branches in winter and this small and very inexpensive sculpture pleases me greatly.
All in all a really excellent day out.
* I can't find a link to it in the YSP shop, but you can see it here.