Huma Bhabha, Receiver, 2019, outside County Hall in Wakefield, a new commission for Yorkshire Sculpture International. Photography Jerry Hardman-Jones. Courtesy of the artist and Salon 94 New York
Ayşe Erkmen, three of four, 2019. in the central court at Leeds Art Gallery, commissioned by Yorkshire Sculpture International. Photography by Jerry Hardman-Jones. Courtesy of Dirimart in Istanbul, Galerie Barbara Weiss in Berlin and Barbara Gross Gallery in Munich
Tau Lewis in front of her work at The Hepworth Wakefield for Yorkshire Sculpture International. Photography: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Rashid Johnson, Shea Butter Three Ways, 2019 at the Henry Moore Institute for Yorkshire Sculpture International. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photography by Jerry Hardman-Jones.
David Smith, Untitled (Candida), 1965, at Yorkshire Sculpture Park for Yorkshire Sculpture International. © 2019 The Estate of David Smith, Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Courtesy YSP. Photo © Jonty Wilde
Damien Hirst, Hymn, 1999-2005, on Briggate, Leeds for Yorkshire Sculpture International. Photographed by Prudence Cuming. © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2019

Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019

In summer 2019, the first Yorkshire Sculpture International took place in Leeds and Wakefield. It was 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 Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire Sculpture Park 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 a 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.

What the papers said

YSI 2019 - exhibitions

YSI 2019 - Outdoor sculpture

YSI 2019 - highlighted events

Our engagement programme

Yorkshire Sculpture International has an extensive engagement programme, spanning education, community collaborations and artist support.

We explore sculpture with people of all ages, connecting them with the materials and processes used in making sculpture today and showing how sculpture can be found all around us. We are currently working with a group of 25 artists across Yorkshire as part of our 2022 Sculpture Network.

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Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019 would especially like to thank our major funders Arts Council England through the National Lottery funded Ambition for Excellence grant, Leeds 2023, Wakefield Council, Leeds Beckett University and University of Leeds.

We are also extremely grateful to Reed Smith, the Henry Moore Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Freelands Foundation, Ernest Cook Trust, ArtUK, Leeds City College, Wakefield College, LeedsBID, Victoria Leeds, John Lewis & Partners, Leeds, Leeds Hotels and Venue Association and Welcome to Yorkshire.

We also thank Terra Foundation for American Art, Hauser & Wirth, Japan Foundation, Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Fluxus and Culture Ireland for their support of the exhibitions.

Special thanks to all the artists who contributed their work to the programme and the Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019 team and volunteers.

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