Rycroft Youth Group at The Hepworth Wakefield, 2021.


Yorkshire Sculpture International: About Us

A unique collaboration between four of Yorkshire’s leading art institutions – the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The galleries work together to promote sculpture in the region. Celebrating the rich history of Yorkshire as the birthplace of pioneering sculptors, including Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Damien Hirst and as the home of this unique consortium of galleries and celebrated sculpture collections.

In summer 2019, the galleries presented the first Yorkshire Sculpture International – the UK’s largest dedicated sculpture festival, a series of exhibitions, international commissions, events and learning programmes – with sculpture in its broadest forms on display across the four major galleries and outdoors in Leeds and Wakefield.

Artist Phyllida Barlow was the provocateur for the festival and presented a series of statements. One of the most compelling of these – “Sculpture is the most anthropological of the art forms” – was explored through the exhibitions and events. The programme brought together artists who share an interest in harnessing the cultural histories and physical properties of the materials they use. At the heart of the free 100 day festival was the idea that there is as basic human impulse to make and connect with objects, and that making sculpture is part of human nature.

Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019 featured major new commissions in city centre locations; Ayşe Erkmen made a work responding to the Central Court at Leeds Art Gallery, Huma Bhabha presented her first UK public commission in Wakefield. Tarek Atoui worked with local communities on performances in Wakefield.

Yorkshire Sculpture International builds on the growing profile of Yorkshire as a cultural destination and on the cultural ambition behind the Leeds 2023 bid. Summer 2019 saw the first Yorkshire Sculpture International, and it is hoped the festival will become a regularly occurring event with partners already discussing long-term plans for future sculpture events in Leeds and Wakefield as well as playing a key part in Leeds 2023 and its international
year of culture.


Visit YSI

All four galleries are only a 30-minute drive, bus or train ride away from each other in Leeds and Wakefield. The Henry Moore Institute and Leeds Art Gallery can be found next door to each on The Headrow in Leeds.

Please see individual venue websites for location, suggested transport, directions, access and parking facilities.

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