Friday 6 November 2015

York Art Gallery Reopened

Clare Twomey - Manifest:10,000 Hours

York Art Gallery reopened in August after being closed for 2 years for a £8 million refurbishment.  The gallery is now 60 percent bigger with a new gallery on the first floor which is light and open.  There's an entrance at the rear which leads from a first floor terrace down to an open piazza and on to Museum Gardens.  The gallery has expanded into what was the City Archives next door and with a new larger cafe, new lifts, toilets, shops, it looks altogether better, lighter and more inviting.

First Floor Terrace
Views of the City Walls from the Terrace
Stairs from the Terrace (a lift is also available)
Rear Piazza linking to Museum Gardens

A special artwork by Clare Twomey was commissioned to celebrate the reopening of the gallery.  Manifest:10,000 hours is an impressive quantity of pots!  It is Clare's response to York's collection of ceramics.  There are 10,000 pots which take an hour each to make and are a comment on the amount of time it takes to master a skill.  They have been individually handmade by people from across the UK.

Clare Twomey - Manifest:10,000 Hours (detail)

York Art Gallery now houses CoCA which is the Centre of Ceramic Art and forms the most representative public collection of British studio ceramics in the UK.  It also has an impressive collection of artworks including Old Masters, Victorian to contemprary paintings & sculptures and pictures of York itself.  The Upper North Gallery is hosting an exhibition curated by local artist, Mark Hearld, "The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures" - a room of miscellaneous stored objects and artefacts including new work from Mark himself.  This alone is a good enough reason to visit the York Art Gallery.

There has been a lot of controversy about admission charges to the Gallery but with a York Card (available to York Residents for £5) you can purchase a York Museums Trust Card for £11 which gives you free entry for a year to York Art Gallery, the Yorkshire Museum and the Castle Museum which seemes like quite a good deal to me.

Worth a look (or several)!

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