Over the last bank holiday weekend, I visited an old school friend who lives in Wakefield near Leeds. As mentioned in a previous post, I've been dying to get there ever since The Hepworth gallery opened a couple of years ago. Hepworth is one of my favourite artists, and I'd just kept reading such great things about the collection and building. Although my friend isn't an art-lover like me, she very, very kindly (and with a bribe of coffee and cake) agreed to tag along with me.
I actually really love going to visit museums and galleries with people who wouldn't usually choose to go by themselves. I find that explaining things and answering questions just reaffirms by own enthusiasm for it all!
The Hepworth Wakefield houses works by British artist Barbara Hepworth and from the Wakefield art collection itself, but also hosts a series of contemporary, temporary exhibitions, in its impressive purpose-built spaces. I have to admit I didn't particularly enjoy the temporary shows that were on when we were visiting. One featured an artist responding to works found in the permanent collection - personally, I think the original objects he was responding to were interesting enough on their own without the addition of flashing lights and droning noises... The other exhibition featured more traditional painting and drawing and was much more my cup of tea. However, my friend didn't agree and there was a lot of 'I could have done that', 'how is that art??' or 'it looks like a 5-year-old did it...' as we journeyed through those rooms. You win some, you lose some eh!
The permanent collection itself was really fantastic. A great and unexpected mix of British modern sculpture and beautiful paintings spread across bright and spacious rooms. There aren't hundreds and hundreds of objects, which I liked. It was possible to take everything in in less than an hour and a half, but there was also enough text and information to keep you occupied should you want to be there for longer.
On top of all that, entry to the entire gallery (including temporary exhibitions) is completely free - bonus!
Here are a few of my favourite pieces in the collections. The gallery is open 10am - 5pm, Tuesday - Sunday and is definitely worth a visit if you're in the area!