Yorkshire Sculpture International – Damien Hirst Sculptures

Seven of Damien Hirst’s sculptures will be part of the first Yorkshire Sculpture International Festival, which is to take place in Leeds and Wakefield from 22 June until 29 September.

Leeds Art Gallery will be temporary home to Black Sheep With Golden Horns (2009). (Feature photograph.)

In the City Centre, Hymn (1999 – 2005) and Anatomy of an Angel (2008) will be on show.

Anatomy of an Angel. Photograph by Prudence Cuming Associates. Copyright Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. A;;rights reserved. DACS 2019.

At Yorkshire Sculpture Park, sculptures to be enjoyed will be Charity (2002 -2003), Myth (2010), The Hat Makes the Man (2004 – 2007) and The Virgin Mother (2005 – 2006).  Visitors can see these sculptures outdoors from 13 April.

Myth. Photograph Prudence Cuming Associates. Copyright Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2019.

It’s fitting that someone who grew up in Leeds is being celebrated in this way.  The Turner Prize-winning artist had this to say:

 “I’m so happy to have my work in and around Leeds. When I was growing up in the City, the Leeds Art Gallery was my way into art.  I never thought I’d ever be famous or considered important or anything like that, but seeing paintings by people like John Hoyland, Francis Bacon, Peter Blake and Eduardo Paolozzi – alongside the aquarium and natural history stuff in the City Museum – opened my mind to art. The things I saw made me so excited for what art could be.  If people feel anything like that when they see my work, then that’s the greatest thing you can hope for as an artist, and it’s a double excitement for me that there’ll be sculptures in the town as well as the gallery.  The giant bronze sculptures at YSP are where they belong – they’re just made for that setting. I used to hang out a lot on Ilkley Moor and Otley Chevin, and I will always love the Yorkshire landscape.”

Producer of YSI, Jane Bhoyroo, said: “To have Damien involved in the Festival is fantastic and especially because of his love for Yorkshire. He is another world-class artist who will be part of this ambitious inaugural exhibition across four amazing galleries and two cities. One of the aims of YSI is to engage a mass audience through sculpture, and Damien’s works will play a key role in achieving this. YSI promises to be something special, memorable and game changing for Yorkshire’s growing art scene.”

In the City will be Hymn, a painted bronze, is 6 metres high, and a monumental reinterpretation of an educational anatomical model intended for use by children.  A cross-section reveals the internal organs of the male torso.

Hymn. Photographs by Prudence Cumin Associates. Copyright Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 21019.

Anatomy of an Angel is a marble work which references classical sculpture.  The display of the two works in Leeds City Centre will be supported by LeedsBID and Victoria Leeds.

At the Art Gallery, Black Sheep with Golden Horns (part of Damien’s formaldehyde series) will be positioned within a steel-framed vitrine. This sculpture will be at the centre of the Ziff gallery display.

This is Damien’s first return to the City since his first solo exhibition in Yorkshire, the 2011 ‘Artist Rooms’ at Leeds Art Gallery, which attracted 11,000 visitors in its first week.

Damien Hirst. Copyright Anton Corbijn 2015.

Yorkshire Sculpture International – a free, 100-day festival taking place across Yorkshire from 22 June until 29 September 2019 – will feature new public commissions in Leeds and Wakefield and a programme of events and exhibitions across the four world-renowned galleries that form Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle – Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The inaugural edition will be the UK’s largest dedicated sculpture festival and builds on Yorkshire’s rich history as the birthplace of pioneering sculptors, including Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, and as the home of this unique consortium of galleries and celebrated sculpture collections.

Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019 is curated by Andrew Bonacina (Chief Curator, The Hepworth Wakefield), Sarah Brown (Principal Keeper, Leeds Art Gallery), Clare Lilley (Director of Programme, Yorkshire Sculpture Park) and Laurence Sillars (Head of Programmes, Henry Moore Institute), Jane Bhoyroo (Producer, Yorkshire Sculpture International) and Meghan Goodeve (Engagement Curator, Yorkshire Sculpture International).

Yorkshire Sculpture International has raised more than £1.4 million, including a National Lottery funded Ambition for Excellence grant from Arts Council England and regional investment from Leeds 2023, Wakefield Council, Leeds Beckett University and the University of Leeds.

Feature photograph is Black Sheep With Golden Horns.  Photograph by Prudence Cuming Associates.  Copyright Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.  All rights reserved.  DACS 2019.


Helen’s interests are wide-ranging, from food to music to art and comedy.   She is especially keen on writing about local charitable activity and events as well as the opportunities the City Region has to offer to those with hidden talents.

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