20th September 2018
First details of Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019 programme announced

Yorkshire Sculpture International today announces the first details of its inaugural programme. The UK’s largest sculpture festival will take place across Leeds and Wakefield from 22 June until 29 September 2019, and will present sculpture by artists from across the world.

A celebration of sculpture in all its forms, Yorkshire Sculpture International is presented by four world-renowned cultural institutions based in Leeds and Wakefield – the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

This first festival builds upon Yorkshire’s rich history as the birthplace of pioneering sculptors, including Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, and as the home of this unique consortium of galleries and celebrated sculpture collections.

Reflecting the curatorial theme put forward by British artist Phyllida Barlow that ‘sculpture is the most anthropological of the artforms’ the free 100-day festival responds to the idea that there is a basic human impulse to make and connect with objects, and the programme will explore what it means to create sculpture today.

The free 100-day festival will feature major new commissions in city centre locations; Ayşe Erkmen will make a new site-specific work for Leeds and Huma Bhabha will be presenting her first UK public commission in Wakefield.

Work by leading international artists, including newly commissioned work and key sculptures from their careers, will be exhibited at the four partner galleries. These include Rashid Johnson (Henry Moore Institute), Wolfgang Laib and Tau Lewis (The Hepworth Wakefield), David Smith (Yorkshire Sculpture Park) and Nobuko Tsuchiya (Leeds Art Gallery).

Jane Bhoyroo, Producer, Yorkshire Sculpture International, said: ‘With new commissions in city centres and exhibitions in world-renowned galleries, Yorkshire Sculpture International will be a major new addition to the cultural calendar in a region whose cultural and sporting prowess is drawing the attention of increasing numbers of national and international visitors.’

There will be an extensive public engagement programme that will support artistic talent development in the region and introduce new audiences to sculpture. People of all ages will have the opportunity to connect with sculpture, inspiring them to think about, talk about, and make sculpture.

Yorkshire-based artists are integral to the project and five artists working in sculpture will be supported through Yorkshire Sculpture International’s Associate Artist Programme which will award grants of £7,500 for selected artists to develop their practice. Expressions of interest for participating in the programme open today (19 September). In addition, opening for submissions today is an opportunity for ten artists from Yorkshire to be part of the festival’s Engagement Programme, creating collaborative work with schools and communities.

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England, comments: ‘Yorkshire Sculpture International promises to offer an exciting programme of commissions and exhibitions that will give visitors an opportunity to experience new work by artists from Yorkshire, the UK and across the world. It is a venture that builds on the strengths of the collaborating institutions and the success of their programmes in reaching new audiences across the region.

Image Credit: Yorkshire Sculpture International. Courtesy of  Yorkshire Sculpture International.