Day trip around the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle

Here’s how you can get around the Triangle venues in a single day on public transport!

On a crisp and bright January day we set out from Leeds. Travelling on a Friday (please note: public transport times will vary – check www.wymetro.com for up-to-date timetables), we took a train from Leeds Station at 9.21am and arrived into Wakefield Westgate just after 9.30am.

We decided to start with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and work our way back to Leeds. To get there you need to catch the 96 bus (operated by Globe Travel) from Wakefield Bus Station (stand 18), just a short ten minute walk from Westgate.

The bus journey takes around 30 minutes, and drops you right at the entrance to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park Centre (we caught the 10am bus, and arrived at YSP at 10.33am). We were welcomed by spectacular views, and with the park only just opening at 10am, we had the place almost all to ourselves!

One of the first works to greet you in the open air is Not Vital’s striking stainless steel ‘Pelvis’, and just beyond you can see an impressive selection of large-scale Henry Moore bronzes.

We spent about three hours at the YSP, including a pause for lunch at the café. Our first stop was Beyond Boundaries: Art by Email in the newly-refurbished Bothy Gallery, a compelling exhibition of work by artists from across the Middle East and North Africa, who submitted work electronically as a means to transcend travel restrictions. We then made our way to the powerful James Webb sound installation We Listen for the Future in the Chapel, taking in some of the open-air sculptures on the way.

On our way back to the YSP Centre for lunch, we stopped at the James Turrell Deer Shelter Skyspace for a meditative moment, and said hello to the sheep, as we navigated our way back through the Henry Moores.

After our lunch, we took in the Angela Harding exhibition Flights of Memory in the Centre, a beautiful display of elegant prints depicting British wildlife.

The 96 bus picked us up again outside the Centre at 1.33pm, and we arrived at The Hepworth Wakefield just before 2pm. Instead of travelling back to the bus station, you can get off at an earlier stop just outside the Hepworth.

Currently dominating the galleries is The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture, an awe-inspiring showcase of contemporary sculpture, in all its richness and diversity. We took some time to visit the works by the four shortlisted artists – scrambled underneath Phyllida Barlow’s imposing ‘Screestage’ structure, left our mark on a David Medalla tapestry, stepped through Steven Claydon’s citronella scented curtains, and scrutinized the myriad materials in Helen Marten’s complex sculptures.

There was also time to peruse the exhibition Anthea Hamilton Reimagines Kettle’s Yard, and some works from the excellent Wakefield collection.

Onto the last leg of our journey! We took a train at 3.51pm from nearby Wakefield Kirkgate station, getting in to Leeds just before 4.30pm. Our next stop was the Henry Moore Institute, which is centrally located on The Headrow in Leeds City Centre, a short walk from Leeds train station. It’s currently impossible to miss due to the five-and-a-half-metre tall ‘King Kong’ sculpture that’s standing guard in front of its granite edifice.

With the galleries closing at 5.30pm, we had enough time to tour the City Sculpture Projects 1972 exhibition. Rich in archival material, maquettes and models, the exhibition takes an in-depth look at an ambitious project that set out to place works of modern sculpture in public urban spaces.

If you’d like to make a day trip around the venues you can find more information about what’s on at the links below and plan your sculpture adventure!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The Hepworth Wakefield

Henry Moore Institute

Leeds Art Gallery (currently closed for essential roof repairs, reopening October 2017)

West Yorkshire Metro