Damien Hirst

in Wakefield on

Address: Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 4LG

Phone: 01924 832631

Email: comms@ysp.org.uk

Get tickets HERE Visit Venue Website

Description

‘The giant bronze sculptures at YSP are where they belong – they’re just made for that setting.’ – Damien Hirst

Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents four major sculptures by Damien Hirst in the 18th-century Country Park. Charity (2002-2003), Myth (2010), The Hat Makes the Man (2004-2007) and The Virgin Mother (2005-2006) came to YSP as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International (YSI), a festival of sculpture which took place across Leeds and Wakefield from 22 June until 29 September 2019.

Hirst’s ten-metre- tall The Virgin Mother stands against the backdrop of the Lower Lake, a powerful presence in the landscape. Referencing the stance of Degas’s Little Dancer of Fourteen Years (c.1881), the sculpture’s cross-section reveals the foetus curled within the womb.

Charity, on display near the recently opened Weston building, is recognisable as based on Scope collection boxes which were commonly seen on British high streets between the 1960s and 1970s. A young girl wearing a calliper forlornly cradles a teddy bear and a donations box which reads ‘please give generously’. The work questions historic and outdated ways of depicting disability and seeking charity.

Outside The Weston, Myth presents a white unicorn with half of its skin flayed to reveal vibrant red, pink and yellow musculature and tissues. Hirst often takes religious or mythical figures as his subjects, unpicking and disrupting their familiar narratives. Horses have been an artistic subject for millennia and, referencing this tradition, Hirst’s unicorn stands high on a classical plinth. Like all works in this display, Myth makes a playful nod to art history.

Back towards Lower Lake, The Hat Makes the Man is based on a 1920 collage of the same name by Surrealist artist Max Ernst. Ernst’s work is comprised of cut-out images of hats absurdly reassembled in stacks with intentionally phallic-like supports. It is thought to have been inspired by Sigmund Freud’s book The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious (1905), in which Freud describes the hat as a symbol of repressed male desire. Hirst renders Ernst’s work in three dimensions, using bronze casts of wooden pallets as supports and thereby introducing the idea of sculptural collage or assemblage. As with The Virgin Mother, Hirst’s materials are hidden. In the former works, the bronze is painted to emulate plastic and with The Hat the casting precisely imitates painted wood. The artist thereby plays with the grandeur associated with bronze.

Prices

Type Price
Tickets YSP entry £6 per person (under 18s free)

Opening Hours

Sun 10:00 17:00
Mon 10:00 17:00
Tue 10:00 17:00
Wed 10:00 17:00
Thu 10:00 17:00
Fri 10:00 17:00
Sat 10:00 17:00

Date: 13/04/2019 – 31/05/2023

Related Accommodation

The accommodation below is nearby - and has been updated recently.

The Mews Hotel

77 Dale Street, Wakefield, WF5 9HN, United Kingdom

Wakefield Limes Lodge

188 Leeds Road, Lofthouse, Wakefield , Wakefield, WF3 3LS, United Kingdom

Campanile Hotel Wakefield

Monckton Road, Off Denby Dale Road, Wakefield, WF2 7AL, United Kingdom

Related Attractions

The visitor attractions below are nearby.

Visit Yorkshire Sculpture Park

West Bretton, West Yorkshire, WF4 4LG

Visit Anglers Country Park – Visitor Information

Haw Park Lane, Wintersett, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 2EB

Trinity Walk Shopping Centre

Trinity Walk Shopping Centre, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1QX