Best eco-art site found this summer!

I’ve had a lovely few weeks of vacation, and was lucky enough to visit a wonderful eco-art spot in England as part of my travels. I’ve been wanting to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park for a few years, as I knew that Andy Goldsworthy had exhibited there on a number of occasions. It was well worth the pilgrimage to the north of England – acres and acres of farmland and forest, with dozens of art sculptures and installations sprinkled throughout the park. Like many museums in Britain it was free to the public, with only a small fee for parking.

What a place! I got to combine two of my favourite activities – hiking and looking at art – in one stunning location in the Yorkshire hills. I was thrilled to experience Goldsworthy’s work firsthand, walking in and around his Shadow Stonefold, Outclosure and Hanging Tree installations from 2007. His stonework is absolutely beautiful, and the siting is inspired. My teenage boys seemed to enjoy their interactive elements as much as I did. I also enjoyed seeing James Turrell’s Deer Shelter Skyspace (also from 2007). His work emphasizes our connection to the sky, and again was a wonderful integration with the open fields and animals of the park.

It was also lovely to see Henry Moore sculptures in their ‘natural setting’, surrounded by the very countryside that inspired them. See the accompanying photo one of these surrounded by English sheep and Canadian geese – a thoughtful addition for a bunch of visiting Canucks!

The highlight of the day however was a retrospective of the work of David Nash, who is a nature-based artist working mainly with trees and wood. What a stunning series of works – I was completely captivated. His work honours the beauty and majesty of trees while articulating his own relationship to them through his connections to the present and the past. If you’re not familiar with his artistry, check out the YSP website for a great series of links on his work [http://www.ysp.co.uk/view.aspx?id=691].

So if you’re heading to England, I highly recommend making the Yorkshire Sculpture Park one of your destinations – it is a wonderful place for nature-based and environmental art!