Phyllida Barlow with her installation Scree stage for The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture 2016, image PA – Press association

Renowned sculptor Phyllida Barlow has been invited to be the ‘provocateur’ for the first Yorkshire Sculpture International.

As provocateur, she proposed a series of thought-provoking statements. The 2019 event will explore one of the most compelling of these – ‘Sculpture is the most anthropological of the art forms’ – responding to the idea that there is a basic human impulse to make and connect with objects.


Sculpture is an awkward and provocative discipline, constantly and persistently questioning itself. Yorkshire Sculpture International is an imaginative initiative – the renowned institutions centred in Leeds and Wakefield, which already constitute an exceptional focus on sculpture, will provide a challenging and inspirational opportunity to give priority to what sculpture is now – who it is for, what it is, and where and how it is located. No doubt each institution will reflect different concerns and raise questions around the rich potential of what sculpture can be – the more confrontational, surprising, difficult and thought-provoking, the better.’
Phyllida Barlow talking about Yorkshire Sculpture International


Phyllida Barlow, Untitled triplestackboulders and Untitled squatboulder, 2014. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, the artist and YSP. Photo © Jonty Wilde




Phyllida Barlow represented Britain at the 2017 Venice Biennale and her work has been shown widely across Yorkshire, including the exhibition for the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture in 2016, for which she was shortlisted. Two of her sculptures are on permanent display at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, whilst a collection of her drawings is held in the Leeds Museums & Galleries permanent collection.