Remembrance Day is an important one in our family, with my Dad, Grandpa and Great Uncles all having served in the Armed Forces as well as generations before them, and many many friends too. My parents happened to be visiting, and we marked the occasion with a visit to the Poppy Wave installation at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the grounds of the impressive Bretton Hall.
You might remember the hundreds of thousands of poppies which appeared around the Tower of London last year as the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. These handcrafted ceramic poppies were made by the artist but also by thousands of volunteers who created them in memory of lost loved ones. Many were sold off after the exhibition ended, but due to the amazing response it received, the artist decided to preserve it in the form of several smaller installations at various locations around the country, my closest being at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. When these exhibitions end, the beautiful ceramic poppies will be donated to the Imperial War Museum and will hopefully find a permanent display home there.
We visited the Sculpture Park on a particularly wet and windy day. The leaves were whirling around us in a perpetual dance, and the rain kept making an appearance.
The gloomy day made the vibrant red poppies set against the backdrop of the lake and the autumnal leaves all the more striking.
We also came across this mesmerising LED galloping horse by British artist Julian Opie – we caught glimpses of it through the trees from various different parts of the Park and I couldn’t stop watching it. I even made my first ever .gif to share it with you! (Proud moment there).
The exhibition is on until 10th January 2016, so there is plenty of time yet to visit. The Sculpture Park is free to enter, although you do have to pay to park. It cost us £5 for two hours, which was ample time to stroll around (although at 500 acres I am certain we barely even saw a fraction of the park), which considering there were 4 of us and 3 dogs I think was quite good value!
I highly recommend a visit – not only is the Poppy Wave beautiful, but the Park is absolutely full of stunning sculptures, by artists such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Antony Gormley. Coming round a corner in a woodland glade to find a four ton bronze figure sitting there is quite something – it took the dogs by surprise on a couple of occasions. Poppy the border collie was either particularly fond or terrified of the Henry Moores, barking like a mad thing at them!
Even in the rain the Park is so beautiful in all its autumnal colours, I must remember to visit the first sunny day we have next Autumn and capture it in its full glory, which we got a glimpse of as we all piled back in the car to go to lunch, just as the sun came out!
Have you been to Yorkshire Sculpture Park? What was your favourite sculpture? I loved the Poppy Wave but the galloping horse LED wins every time for me – I’d like one for my house!