Leilah Babirye’s exhibition Obumu (Unity) will feature new sculptures made at YSP specifically for this exhibition, largely from materials found onsite.
The celebrated Ugandan artist Leilah Babirye spent the summer of 2023 at YSP making a clan of seven larger-than-life-size figures in wood and five coloured ceramics. Supported by YSP’s technical team, the seven sculptures were carved using a chainsaw and chisels from trees that had reached the end of their life on site.
Babirye also sculpted five large ceramic portrait-sculptures, each its own personality. They are created from coiled clay and boldly shaped into fundamental forms in which traces of the artist’s strong hands and fingers can be seen, before being fired and heavily coated with dense glazes that on firing contribute to the sculptures’ earthy, elemental power. Together the works will make a robust, rich statement in YSP’s Chapel, built in 1744, around the time some of the trees used would have begun to grow. Painterly glazes contrast with chiselled, roughly-textured woodwork and metal objects associated with the art of blacksmithing. The artworks become a congregation that celebrates community in all its forms in this beautiful and contemplative space, which has witnessed key moments in now-forgotten lives for centuries.
How to get there
West Bretton, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF4 4LG
Winter daily, 10am – 5pm
Summer daily, 10am – 6pm
From 6 November – 24 March, YSP is closed on Mondays (excluding school and Bank Holidays) and 24 – 25 December.
Exclusions and safety measures
Book your tickets and plan your visit at ysp.org.uk
How to get there
What else is on at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yukihiro Akama: Basho no Kanka...
Florian Gadsby: By My Hands
Jonathan Baldock: Touch Wood
Erwin Wurm: Trap of the Truth
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