An deconsecrated chapel in the grounds had a large Weiwei outside and a series of works by Chiharu Shiota inside.
Quote from YSP.
Iron Tree is the largest and most complex sculpture to date in the artist’s tree series, which he began in 2009. Inspired by the wood sold by street vendors in Jingdezhen, southern China, Iron Tree comprise of 97 tree elements cast in iron and interlocked using a classic – and here exaggerated – Chinese method of joining. Iron Tree expresses Ai’s interest in fragments and the importance of the individual, without which the whole would not exist. /ysp.org.uk
A full-size wire frame representation of an upright piano with lots of string and sheets of paper. The attendant said that it had taken the artist and ten assistants ten days to complete the installation (but see below). It is in a deconsecrated chapel. The view from the balcony (image 3) is a fog of string.
Quote from Studio International, Veronica Simpson.
Using 2,000 balls of thread, Chiharu Shiota’s installation of white woollen webbing in the chapel at Yorkshire Sculpture Park drifts up from floor to ceiling, twisting around and drawing you in to the spirit of the place.
When Chiharu Shiota (b 1972, Osaka, Japan) started work on her installation in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 18th-century chapel, in early March, the ground was blanketed in snow. While it slowly turned to slush and the green of the surrounding parkland emerged, the white woollen webbing of her installation was thickening, taking on a vaulting, cathedral-like form of its own, twisting around the windows, drifting up to the ceiling from its anchor points on the flagstone floor, secured by stone footplates apparently taken from the organ that used to live here.
The organ is a ghostly presence in the work. Photocopied pages taken from the YSP’s archives, of sheet music that was once played on it and programmes from concerts given, are strewn within the white webbing, like free-floating foliage – a spectral counterpart to the bare, black branches and twigs of the surrounding winter treescape; call and response, echoing the rhythm of services past. When asked why the threads chosen for this work are white – as opposed to her previous woven works, which are usually a crimson or black – Shiota says: “For purity. And death.” White is the colour of mourning in Japan, which seems appropriate, given the simple gravestones and marble memorial slabs embedded in the site. But it also represents renewal…
It took 12 people (herself, five assistants she brought from Berlin, and six assistants supplied by the YSP) 12 days to weave this installation, using 2,000 balls of white thread. From the first webbing work she made (Return to Consciousness, 1996, in Japan), she has never had a diagram or plan in her mind, she says. She works intuitively, responding to the space. Elsewhere (in an interview with Andrea Jahr), she calls her woven artworks “an expression of my own feelings”. I ask her what her feelings were in creating this piece, Beyond Time. She says: “Changing. Quiet and calm, but also exhausting – weaving never ends; at the beginning it looks like it is not enough, it will never be finished. Everything changes. Then you get the sense of fun and achievement.”
A steel sculpture whose outline evokes a piano but is definitively not a piano (made for the exhibition, but not by Shiota) stands at the centre of the chapel, the white webbing and paper sheets seeming to fly from its frame, upwards and out, like a cascade of silenced sound. The piano is a recurring theme in her work. When Shiota was nine years old, she saw a neighbour’s house destroyed by fire, with only the semi-ruined piano left standing. “The piano had lost all its function but it was even more beautiful than ever before. And I was overcome by silence when I saw it,” she tells Pheby. “A piano that cannot make a sound still carries the memory of the sound. I believe the silence is often stronger and more beautiful than any sound can be. The absence of something makes it stronger.” studiointernational.com
Quote from the same Studio International aricle as above, Veronica Simpson.
Nearby there is a properly three-dimensional bronze sculpture, Belonging (2017) – a new work and a new medium. A woman’s hand and forearm spoons into a man’s, both curled around that of a child. She tells Pheby: “Because much of my art is temporary and only remains as a memory in people’s mind, I wanted to create something that was more everlasting. The new sculpture Belonging is also informed by my understanding of the boundaries created between us by race, nationality, religion or language, but my deep belief that we are all connected.” studiointernational.com
This was on sale, a limited edition of 50, for £600 (or £700 with a frame).