If you're not yet familiar with Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP), it's an open-air gallery in West Bretton near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, showing work by acclaimed British and international artists, including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. For photographer Anne Purkiss, it's a place that has become something of a fascination to her.
In her latest series, Sculptors, she presents a collection of portraits of artists, all of whom have exhibited at YSP over the last 40 years. Soon available to see in a new exhibition at the Park, it documents sculptors at various stages in their careers, covering three decades, through photographs borne out of Anne's personal interest in sculptors as a subject and those commissioned as part of her regular freelance work for press and government agencies, museums and galleries.
“I see photographs as documents of people, recorded in the context of their environment and their time," Anne explains. "The interpretation of my subjects, or my part of being creative, lies in selecting the context, the environment and the moment in time."
Anne's most recent photograph – previously unseen – shows Tony Cragg in his studio in Wuppertal, Germany, preparing for his major YSP exhibition, which also opens on 4 March 2017. Other new works feature Sophie Ryder during the installation of her exhibition in Salisbury Cathedral; and Martin Creed outside the entrance to the Barbican in London’s Silk Street, near his office.
In YSP’s 40th year, the exhibition offers the chance to reflect on the wealth of talent that has graced the Park’s rolling 500-acre landscape, from young Visiting Artists such as David Murphy to sculptural masters like Sir Anthony Caro.
The exhibition coincides with the release of Anne Purkiss’ new book Sculptors: 1986–2016, which features portraits of more than 70 British sculptors, including those exhibited in the YSP show. A photograph of YSP’s Founding and Executive Director Peter Murray CBE, who has written the foreword for the publication, is also featured.
All images courtesy of Anne Purkiss | Main image: Anne Purkiss – Lynn Chadwick, 1995. © Anne Purkiss