YSP presents an exhibition of new and recent work by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, whose sculpture gives physical form to the intangible as a way of exploring emotions and what it means to be human. The works represent human bodies through text, light and sound engaging with universal themes: love, memory, language and despair.
Indoor works in the galleries encourage tactile and sensory exploration. These include Jerusalem, a 50-metre curtain of poetry made of suspended steel letters from Plensa’s favourite poems which chime if gently touched; Midst of Dreams is a series of elongated, illuminated heads with closed eyes and a circle of eleven engraved gongs that visitors can strike to fill the gallery with sound.
Outdoor works in the 500 acres of parkland at YSP include the 8-metre high House of Knowledge, large illuminated sculptures in the landscape with figures made of steel letters that vistors can walk into. Song of Songs presents glass cabins, immersed in coloured light, with space for one visitor to enter for solitary contemplation.
Plensa’s recent public art projects include Crown Fountain (2004) in Chicago’s Millennium Park; Breathing (2008), a memorial to journalists on BBC Broadcasting House; and Dream (2009), a 20-metre high sculpture for St.Helens, Lancashire for Channel 4’s Big Art Project. In 2011, Echo, his first public art project in New York City is organised by the Madison Square Park Conservancy. Together, Plensa’s proposal for the Hussey Memorial Commission at Chichester Cathedral, is expected to be unveiled in 2012.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, Yorkshire. 9 April 2011 – 22 January 2012
Images: Jaume Plensa. Irma-Nuria, The Heart of Trees, 29 Palms. Courtesy of YSP. Photos Jonty Wilde