Spent a few days up in Yorkshire what follows isn’t post ironic or gosh look culture beyond the north circular just a list of good things to do if you are in God’s own county. Some are worth making a longish detour for:
Go to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park:
Set in a dramatic and striking valley a couple of miles from my old school, the YSP was set up to provide a setting for the work by local “boy and girl” Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth (amongst others).
A few years ago it got a pep up with lottery money for a new visitors Centre (it got the obligatory fancy café and shop but also some excellent gallery space too.
At the moment the YSP is hosting a retrospective of the work of Andy Goldsworthy work. See my little film (for some pics I took when they weren’t looking fight the power).
I must admit I’m not totally taken with Goldsworthy’s work. It’s obviously very popular and the exhibition is thorough and the park is the perfect setting for his “environmental” art. I just find him a bit of a one trick pony and outside the nice patterns with natural elements (twigs, stone, sheep shit and snow) I can’t find much else in it. If it forces people to look at nature a new so be it but it leaves me cold. I fear one of his chief appeals for the British public is the old "he is a very clever man it must have taken him a long time" school of art appreciation. This shouldn’t stop anyone going along to the YSP and deciding for your self.
The art work I did like was by James Turrel an American who works with light. I tried to write about his work but this piece from the paper says it really well. His work is beguiling and incredibly beautiful and for much more engaging and emotionally fulfilling than Goldsworthy’s work but well that’s art for you.
Go to the Theatre:
After the plastic arts we took in some of the performing variety at Barnsley's Lamplight theatre. The Lamplight is set in a converted youth club behind the town hall and is a surprisingly well run little theatre. A very comfortable studio auditorium of about 60-70 seats, hosting productions by mainly amateur local actors. We saw "Up and Under 2" by John Godber. A seemingly stereotypical choice for Barnsley, a play about Rugby league (except it is a mainly “football” town) the non-professional cast carried it off really well especially in the second half. I just felt the whole thing was under written with some strange changes in tone almost mid sentence in some cases.
The lamplight puts on a range of mainly mainstream work but its audience obviously loves the place so long may they prosper.
Go to Barnsley market:
If you ever gone out of your way to go to a French or Italian food market you should do your self a favour and visit T’ market. It looks a bit grim (that’s 60’s brutalism for you) but if you are after northern fare this is the place: a cornucopia of pies, black pudding, excellent meat and superb fish. There's tripe (brown and white) complicatedly named bread rolls, marvellous cabbages, a home brew store and some stupendous crabs. A must.
Sorry no pictures I rather shot myself in the foot with this rant on this one doh!
Go to see the mighty reds:
Sub titled “ all quiet on the Preston front”
lower league football isn’t unfortunately about "glory"as ex Tyke Danny Blanchflower once said it’s a more a life long meditation on the vale of tears in which we all live, leavened from time to time with the occasionally victory (Barnsley 1 Preston North End 0).
Barnsley try to play attractive football with only their lack of skill getting in the way and were saved by our marvellous goalie Heinz Muller (the only non porn star German I’ve ever cheered for!). Other highlights are our mascot Toby Tyke and the pies (which were bloody lovely)