yorkshire sculpture park | museums | Photography | Ant Smith

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Best Wishes

Ant, 2020

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Bretton Hall

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For me, this looks like the stern of a cross channel ferry, or possibly a steam ship with its chimneys (funnels), sailing away into an endless expanse of sky.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, bretton hall

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Crystal Grotto Profile Detail

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I took this photograph specifically to play with 'fault-lines' as readilly apparent in the structure of the (presumably) quartz construction material. Cutting perpendicularly through those natural (horizontal) fault-lines the sculpture fractures the light pasing through it to deliver a bold light versus dark contrast. In the result I see a suggestion of two faces - one skull-like, the other quite baby-ish; albeit somewhat of a grotesque.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, crystal grotto profile detail

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Cyclops Communes

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I saw this statue in the distance, and in so doing was struck by the relationship between the praying Cyclops and its audience of trees, which I have placed on a leading diagonal. Because of the theme I have tried to create a mythological feel through the use of lush tones and vibrant colours with a slightly unsettling zoom-blur along the landscape.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, cyclops communes

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Family Unit

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I saw these soon after arriving and hadn't got into my stride in terms of reading statues. Consequently I failed to give them full regards, I think there are more shots of these to be discovered, but this one at least gives a sense of the herd.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, family unit

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J'Accuse

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So here's an example of the audience (me) deliberately assigning their (my) own narrative to a work. I have no idea why the artist stuck a dozen animal heads on poles but for me (a guy who likes animals far too much to eat them) the whole set-up looked to be a court in the round.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, j accuse

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Kink in can

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This sculpture was a pair of giant cans (about 9 foot tall). On first sight I kind of liked it, but more in the idea than the fact of it. Until I walked all the way around and saw this kink in the second can that had been somewhat crushed. I immediately felt as though I wished I were the one to have been allowed to crush it! Which made the whole experience of the sculpture less one of a passive observation to something more dynamic – which maybe taught me something about the nature of sculpture; it's a shame you're not really allowed to touch them...

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, kink in can

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Lovely on the Inside

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This building, like many on the estate, was locked up, seemingly abandoned. But, as a hothouse, still containing a whole host of vigorously blooming plants in the deep mid-winter. You can walk all the way around peering in through moss covered panes at the flowers which were all the more beautiful for being unattainable. It was like peering through the mottled eye-glass of a time-telescope (aren't they all?) into a world that can be only dimly perceived.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, lovely on the inside

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Moss on Window

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Life does indeed spring eternal.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, moss on window

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Muddy Copse

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I just liked the sight of all of those trees growing out of the mud, as though they were the fingers of some long buried leviathan.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, muddy copse

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Pyramid amongst Copse

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I decided to represent this pyramid we stumbled upon in a small copse of trees in both positive and negative forms as it suggested to me a portal to another world occupying the same space as this one; and where entering the prism of the pyramid causes one to be turned all about and inside out.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, pyramid amongst copse

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Splitting Hares

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A very tall galvanised wire sculpture of an anthropomorphised lady hare with a slit running down through the spinal column – quite literally splitting hares. It was both grand and funny; elegant and naughty.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, splitting hares

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The Great Big Beautiful Cockerel

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And this is how we came to know that we were indeed in the right place.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, the great big beautiful cockerel

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The Outside In

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Christine drew my attention to this view, the confusion of layers created by the reflection of the exterior winter trees against the geometry of the interior wooden ceiling; perhaps foreshadowing nature's inevitable reclamation of all that humans create.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, the outside in

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The Tricolour Cornet

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I like how the natural and the sculpted geometries, colouration and clarities are placed in opposition here. The soft vertical strokes of the trees against the pastel blue of the sky contrasting against the saturated colours of the cornet with its sharply defined spheres - I don't think this sculpture would have worked for me in an in-doors setting.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, the tricolour cornet

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Wheel of fortune

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I often say of my photography that it is my intention to make ugly things beautiful; or rather to make the familiar, the mundane, interesting or in some way special. This sculpture though, for me, made the everyday really quite ominous. The sculpture is rendered in gold, with a diamond-esque artifice placed atop of it so that the whole effect is to portray a giant engagement ring. Too obvious a statement for my liking really, especially at this scale - so I have created a much more austere representation as not all fortunes are golden.

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, wheel of fortune

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Yorkshire Stone

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We had some discussion about this sculpture, especially in the memory of the Tate's pile of bricks. But unlike the bricks, I quite liked this. When seen in the landscape it forms three very definite monoliths. The certainty of their external shapes versus the uncertainty of the shapes of the internal pieces struck me at first, and this I believe encourages consideration of its internal form - it was as though the sculpture had prescribed its own proscenium arches for its performances. I was asked if I could have done that, and looking at the work from a constructional perspective the answer is certainly 'yes'. However, I doubt very much that I would have thought to do so, and unlike the pile of bricks, it gave me a gratifying experi...[See More]

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museums, yorkshire sculpture park, yorkshire stone