Yorkshire Sculpture International Summer 2021 programme
Wednesday, 2 June 2021
Yorkshire Sculpture International announces Summer 2021 programme of commissions and projects across Leeds and Wakefield.
Ariel René Jackson, A Welcoming Place 2019 (production still) Courtesy of Ariel René Jackson Studio. Photo: Hiram Mojica.
Ariel René Jackson, A Welcoming Place 2019 (production still)
Courtesy of Ariel René Jackson Studio. Photo: Hiram Mojica.
Yorkshire Sculpture International (YSI) is pleased to announce its Summer 2021 programme featuring new commissions, talks and collaborative projects in Leeds and Wakefield from 10 July – 19 September 2021. Spanning the four partner venues – Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) – the programme will celebrate Yorkshire as the home of sculpture in the UK.
YSI has commissioned the presentation of a new work by Shezad Dawood (b. 1974) and a new film by Ariel René Jackson (b. 1991) as well as new works by four early career artists based in Yorkshire: Akeelah Bertram (b. 1990), Claye Bowler (b. 1995), Nwando Ebizie (b. 1982) and Ashley Holmes (b. 1990). The commissions, which will all feature a digital element, will be unveiled at the partner venues and in outdoor locations. Alongside the commissions, YSI will host a live and digital public programme of talks throughout the summer.
“Following a really challenging year we are delighted to be able to support artists and present a series of new commissions this summer with our partner galleries. Our summer programme builds on the success of the sculpture festival in 2019, it continues our commitment to working with artists from across Yorkshire and introducing audiences to new developments in sculpture and highlighting once again how much exciting activity is happening in the region.”
London-based Shezad Dawood will present a major new mixed-reality digital work, Concert From Bangladesh, to mark the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence. Dawood has created a virtual stage for a concert expanding on Ravi Shankar and George Harrison’s 1971 ‘Concert for Bangladesh’ which was in aid of the relief effort and refugee crisis. The project updates the original concert’s concept, where Shankar and other South Asian performers were relegated to support acts. Instead, Dawood has collaborated with Bangladeshi music producers, musicians and performers to develop Concert From Bangladesh, which will showcase talent across varied Bangladeshi musical traditions, from mystical Baul singing to experimental electronica and Dhaka hip hop. The work will be presented outdoors at YSP on 1 August 2021, and in Leeds on 18 September 2021 at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall in partnership with Hyde Park Picture House’s On the Road programme. Concert From Bangladesh is a project by UBIK Productions and Samdani Art Foundation in collaboration with Shezad Dawood and in partnership with YSI and Chisenhale Gallery. It is supported by the British Council Digital Collaboration Fund.
Texas-based Ariel René Jackson will present the trailer for their new film A Welcoming Place in July, as part of an online, in-conversation event in July 2021. In their work, Jackson employs a meteorological aesthetic as an allegory for oral narratives. A Welcoming Place will showcase six conversations with Black and Brown Austinites, highlighting each individual’s relationship to the city of Austin, Texas. Excerpts from each conversation will form a video aided by visuals of the Austin area, and an animation made from archival film footage about ‘the weather balloon’ - a carrier for a mechanism that collects meteorological information. The project is a co-commission between Women & Their Work and YSI and the full film will be shown in January 2022 in Austin.
Over the past 12 months, YSI has supported 22 artists based in Yorkshire through the YSI Sculpture Network. This summer, four artists from across the region will exhibit their new commissioned works. Leeds-based Akeelah Bertram will present work from their long-term project, The Return, in the form of an interactive sculpture installation at YSP. For the installation, the artist will use creative technology to question identity narratives by reflecting on the lived experiences of the African diaspora and what a world would look like without borders. The project is created by the artist and produced by York Mediale. Supported by Arts Council England, The British Council, Invisible Flock, University of Leeds and East Street Arts.
Huddersfield-based Claye Bowler is developing a new performance with Henry Moore Institute which will be filmed and premiered at Leeds Art Gallery in September 2021. The performance will be the culmination of a five-year durational performance around the subject of top surgery, Measured Transition 2016-21, which began with Bowler shaving his head after first going to his GP to ask to be referred to an NHS gender identity clinic. He has grown his hair since that first appointment to visually depict the wait it takes to get surgery within UK healthcare. This performance will mark the end of Bowler’s wait, which has been four years, nine months and three days. He will use a surgical scalpel, the same as one used in the surgery, to methodically cut off his hair whilst an audio of questions asked within the gender clinic is played into the room.
Todmorden-based Nwando Ebizie will present an immersive, binaural sound work, The Garden of Circular Paths. The work will be a post-Borgesian labyrinth which will take viewers on a sonic art journey through the life and work of Barbara Hepworth. It will be heard through headphones at The Hepworth Wakefield, featuring composed music and field recordings from places around Yorkshire and beyond which have a connection to Hepworth. The installation is designed to be experienced whilst walking through Hepworth’s retrospective at the gallery, allowing visitors to view it through Ebizie’s lens as a Yorkshire-dwelling Afrofuturist.
At Leeds Art Gallery, Sheffield-based Ashley Holmes will present Distend. This immersive installation will expand on Holmes’ interest in sonic fiction and the deconstructive practices of dub music and remixing to explore cultural memory. The work will reference the earthquake and landslides that struck Port Royal, Jamaica in 1692, reimagining the submerged landscapes and mythologies, connecting Afrodiasporic aural traditions and the natural world.
Coinciding with the summer programme, the 2021 partner venues are host to several sculpture exhibitions and commissions. The Henry Moore Institute is presenting the group exhibition Portable Sculpture, along with a new commission by Rafael Pérez Evans, Handful. Leeds Art Gallery is presenting Moon Poetics 4 Courageous Earth Critters and Dangerous Day Dreamers, an exhibition by Zadie Xa. The Hepworth Wakefield, which is also celebrating its 10th anniversary, is presenting Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is presenting Joana Vasconcelos: Beyond; Rachel Kneebone: 399 Days and the Arts Council Collection’s group exhibition Breaking the Mould: Sculpture by Women since 1945. YSP will also host The Oak Project’s first artist commission, Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds, by Studio Morison.
YSI is also working closely together with Leeds 2023 as the city takes an exciting step forward in developing the programme for the international Year of Culture in 2023.
Notes to editors
Yorkshire Sculpture International Summer 2021 programme will take place across Leeds and Wakefield, and online, running from Saturday 10 July until Sunday 19 September 2021.
For more information on YSI and the Summer 2021 programme, please visit yorkshire-sculpture.org. Follow the hashtag #YSI2021 on social media to keep up to date on YSI news.
For all press enquiries, please contact Yasmin Hyder at Rees & Co: firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 (0)20 3137 8776
About Yorkshire Sculpture International
Yorkshire Sculpture International is a collaborative project between the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The first Yorkshire Sculpture International Festival took place in summer 2019 which featured a series of exhibitions, international commissions, events and learning programmes with sculpture in its broadest forms on display across the four galleries and outdoors in Leeds and Wakefield. The festival reached over 1 million people, included the work of 77 artists, 47,000 people participated in 923 events, and contributed £8.3 million to the economy in Yorkshire. During 2020 and into 2021 our engagement work with sculpture as the focus has developed through the Sculpture Network, international artist talks and the continuation of the programme of events with teachers, schools and communities in Leeds and Wakefield.
The Henry Moore Institute welcomes everyone to visit our Galleries, Research Library and Archive of Sculptors' Papers to experience, study and enjoy sculpture from around the world. The Institute can be found in the centre of Leeds, the city where Henry Moore (1898-1986) began his training as a sculptor. Our changing programme of historical, modern and contemporary exhibitions and events encourage thinking about what sculpture is, how it is made and the artists who make it. As part of the Henry Moore Foundation, we are a hub for sculpture, connecting a global network of artists and scholars, continuing research into the art form and ensuring that sculpture is accessible and celebrated by a wide audience.
The Henry Moore Foundation was founded by the artist and his family in 1977 to encourage public appreciation of the visual arts. Today we support innovative sculpture projects, devise an imaginative programme of exhibitions and research worldwide, and preserve the legacy of Moore himself: one of the great sculptors of the 20th century, who did so much to bring the art form to a wider audience.
Founded in 1888, Leeds Art Gallery is the flagship art gallery for the city and presents a dynamic temporary exhibition programme that has showcased works of celebrated artists such as Damien Hirst, Gary Hume and Fiona Rae, as well as hosting major touring exhibitions like British Art Show 8. With close to half a million visitors a year (pre-pandemic), the gallery is one of the city's most visited attractions and all the exhibitions are free.
Leeds Art Gallery has strong collections of 19th and 20th century British painting and sculpture, widely considered to be one of the best outside national collections. The gallery has always been committed to the development of living artists. Early gifts included Lady Butler's Scotland For Ever! (1881) and paintings by the popular Leeds-based artist John Atkinson Grimshaw. The 20th century is represented by artists such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Paul Nash and Jacob Epstein, as well as artists of our time such as Frank Auerbach, Bridget Riley, Tony Cragg and Mark Wallinger. More recent acquisitions include work by Simon Fujiwara, Becky Beasley and Georgina Starr. Leeds Art Gallery has an extensive sculpture collection, the most comprehensive of any regional collection, which includes a vast and unique archive; both are managed in partnership with the Henry Moore Institute. Building on the strength of the sculpture collection Leeds Art Gallery is part of the regional partnership Yorkshire Sculpture International that showcases Yorkshire's strong roots in sculpture, supporting artists based in Yorkshire and exhibiting sculpture alongside the partner venues.
Designed by the acclaimed David Chipperfield Architects, The Hepworth Wakefield is set within Wakefield's historic waterfront, overlooking the River Calder. The gallery opened in May 2011 and was awarded Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017. Named after Barbara Hepworth, one of the most important artists of the 20th century who was born and brought up in Wakefield, the gallery presents major exhibitions of the best international modern and contemporary art. It is also home to Wakefield's art collection " an impressive compendium of modern British and contemporary art " and has dedicated galleries exploring Hepworth's art and working process. The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, designed by internationally renowned landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith, opened alongside the gallery in 2019 and is free for all to enjoy.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is one of the finest places in Europe to experience modern and contemporary sculpture in the open air. We host work by some of the world's most well-known artists from Yorkshire-born Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Damien Hirst to Phyllida Barlow, Kalliopi Lemos, Gavin Turk, Ai Weiwei and many other major international and emerging artists across 500 acres of 18th century-designed landscape and six indoor galleries. YSP welcomes around 500,000 visitors every year to enjoy and experience art, heritage and the landscape and each year 40,000 people have contact with our learning programmes. Founded in 1977, YSP is an independent charitable trust and registered museum.
Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people's lives. They support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries " from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, they will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.
LEEDS 2023's ambition is to deliver a transformational year of creative experience connecting and benefiting people now and into the future. The programme will celebrate and transform the city's identity locally, nationally and internationally, 'letting culture loose' and creating a lasting legacy of economic and social impact. LEEDS 2023 is run by the Leeds Culture Trust, an independent charity set up in 2019 by Leeds City Culture as part of its Culture Strategy.
The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall, including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. The British Council Digital Collaboration Fund supports UK and overseas cultural partnerships to develop digitally innovative ways of collaborating.
Henry Moore Institute
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Leeds Art Gallery
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