Trees from an alternate landscape

As we continued to explore the 500 acres that Yorkshire Sculpture Park has to offer we came across this Dennis Oppenheim installation “Trees from alternative landscape components”


YSP says: “Formed of florescent trees, fake hedgerows, seemingly genetically modified flowers, the Trees have branches laden with a range of curious domestic artifacts including, baths, toilets, sinks, dog kennels, dustbins, plastic chairs and parts of fences.”

It’s a deliberately incongruous piece, setting the natural beauty of the rolling landscape with a harshly man made interpretation of nature.

It makes us consider the relationship between natural and artificial  environments and perhaps makes us think a little about our intrusion and destruction of the planet we live on.

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More to my liking are these joyful, colourful mosaics by Marialuisa Tadei. The huge double sided medallion is Night and Day.


And here is her take on the sea creature of my nightmares – the octopus! *shivers*


Below is Tom Price’s Network – a huge man engrossed in his phone (plus a little Neil too) and Eduardo Paolozzi’s Collage City.

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Finally is Julian Opie’s Galloping Horse. An LED display that shows exactly that. Opie looks at the idea of representation and how we perceive and understand images.

He takes photos of his subject matter then digitally manipulates the photographs and creates his final images by a process of elimination.

YSP says: “He reduces the features that characterise a person or object to the bare minimum, so that with just a few lines he is able to identify what makes something unique and recognisable.”


What do you think? Is less more? . . .

Molecules, mosaics and mercenaries

More art in the wilds of Yorkshire!

Below is an immensely sized sculpture by Jonathan Borofsky. Molecule man 1+1+1.  I enjoy being able to glimpse the greenery through the little holes in the metal men.

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Disturbing figures linger under the trees.

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Below are Riace – works by Elizabeth Frink. Frink was a leading figure in British sculpture and was part of the post-war group of British sculptors known as the Geometry of Fear school.

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The four Riace sculptures were inspired by the discovery of two fifth-century BC Greek bronze sculptures in the sea off Southern Italy in the 1970s.

Frink saw them on display in Florence and described how ‘the original figures are very beautiful, but also very sinister’. The bronzes depict ancient Greek mercenaries: warriors who would fight in exchange for sacrificial offerings in their benefit


On a lighter note here is Niki de Saint Phalle’s, Buddha 2000. I love all the colourful mosaic detail on this one.

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Even more sculpturey goodness to come!!

Yorkshire, sculpture and grey days

On a grey bank holiday we headed off to Yorkshire Sculpture Park for a dose of culture and some fresh air. There’s around 60 sculptures set in 500 acres of park land on the Bretton Estate as well as five indoor galleries.

Below is one of Marc Quinn’s huge, sexualised orchids. At first glance it’s a beautiful flower but it also bears a rather close resemblance to lady bits as well!!

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It might have been a bit of a grey day but we still managed to whizz around acres of park land and enjoy some art.

There’s plenty of Henry Moore’s imposing sculptures dotted around the place, sometimes placed in formal gardens and other times they’re marooned in fields,surrounded by sheep!


The sculptures sometimes almost blend into their surroundings, seeming as if they have always graced the grounds of the 18th century Bretton Estate.


Below are several sculptures by Masayuki Koorida.  According to YSP’s info the sculpture specialises in “highly finished sculptures in granite. Incredibly smooth and beautifully curved, the sculptures remind the viewer of amoebas, molecules and the aesthetic of Japanese anime.”

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Brian Fell’s Ha Ha bridge spans an empty cutting. Its rusty, metallic industrial feel provides a foil to the lush greenery of nature.

YSP says: “By incorporating the word itself into the sides of the bridge he not only refers directly to the ha-ha beneath but also provides an amusing reminder of the original coining of the term derived from the cry of surprise at discovering a boundary.”


Next up we see colourful tiled sculptures, LED horses and contemporary trees made of toilets and sheds!

Tate – old school

Having sampled some of the more modern art on offer in the Tate we also had time to wander around some of the older works (or, as I like to call it, the “real” art!!)


Yes, controversial I know, but I am not a massive fan of “modern” art, Hence the last time I visited the Tate Modern I spent more time taking the mickey than enjoying the displays.

One of which I swear was a bathroom cabinet straight out of an Argos catalogue and just given a deep sounding title.

Probably something like “The futility of consumerism. Part 3. Mirror and chipboard.”

So give me a sumptuous Pre Raphelite any day!! Here’s some gorgeous Rosetti. The Beloved. 1866.


Or this haunting Lady of Shallot by John William Waterhouse. A print of which adorned my teenage bedroom for many a long year. 1017739_10152682077302353_8155173633405313855_n

The picture illustrates the following lines from part IV of Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shalott’:

And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance –
With glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Another tragic portrayal, yet a highly beautiful painting, is Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais. Seems like artists can’t get enough of doomed women!


This time the tragic scene being depicted is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act IV, Scene vii, when Ophelia, driven out of her mind when her father is murdered by her lover Hamlet, drowns herself in a stream:

There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.

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Above L – R
John Singer Sargent
Philip Hermogenes Calderon


Sir John Everett Millais,

Capri – designer heaven yet still full of tacky lemon stuff and Sorrento

I love Lemon based tacky products and Capri and Sorrento are simply crammed full of the yellow, fragrant, marvellous little blighters.

Even with its chic boulevard of designer shops – Prada, Louis Vitton etc etc (if that is your bag) you can still find a veritable cornucopia of tat in Capri!!!

There’s a fantastic (by which I mean slightly terrifying) chair lift from Anacapri to the top of Mount Salaro.

Amazing views but you do have to cling for dear life to the pole (not to the bar across your lap as this, as i discovered, can simply be lifted up . . )

Neil looks suitably delighted by the whole experience.

Pretty view – worth the fear!!

Here’s another perennial tourist favourite – the fridge magnet! Me and the better half collect the colourful little blobs of joy from everywhere we visit. The fridge looks like an explosion in a plastic factory.

I utterly love the art shops in Sorrento, you can barely even see this one under the proliferation of canvas!!

We stayed at Hotel Eden in Sorrento.

It’s a hotel of two halves, literally! One half is recently renovated, lovely, fresh and clean, whereas the other half leaves a lot to be desired. It has a fab pool and is ideally located on the main square of Sorrento, but make sure to ask for a room in the newly renovated half!!

Here’s the coolest gelato bar EVER in Sorrento – so many flavours to chose from and plastered with celeb photos from the Pope to James Bond!!

Here Neil investigates the finer points of Gelato marketing.

Next up, a bus trip along the Amalfi coast to some fab villages and the epic but haunting spectacle of Pompeii . . .  .