Gallery Without Walls

DirectorMaggie Ellis
One line synopsisOne of a series on public art, on the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and efforts by British artist, Don Rankin, with the help of partially-sighted art consultant, William Kirby (d.2006), to make the Access Sculpture Trail more enjoyable for people with disabilities.

Art in transit: some bronze hares by Barry Flanagan being moved from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, one of the largest open-air galleries in the world, to make room for an exhibition by Danish sculptor, Jorgen Sorensen. The hares and the Kouros Horse being crated up. Visitors to the park, looking at exhibits, taking tea, sketching, etc. Commentary quotes the Park’s first patron, Henry Moore, on how sculpture needs open air and light. Sculpture by Henry Moore being readied for siting. Peter Murray, Director, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, talking about the complexities of the process, and the need for the work and the landscape to complement each other. Other sculptures in the Park; Murray’s VO expanding on the need for proper space for open-air work, for it to be visible in different ways, for one work to lead on to another, for there to be a range of styles, a commitment to education. Details of several different works. School party arriving; Education Officer and teacher helping them to look at different pieces and understand the intentions of the artists. Anna Bowman, Education Officer on the integrality of the works and the landscapes in which they are sited. Pieces resulting from public sculpture workshops; children making new work. Visitors on the access sculpture trail – Murray talking about this initiative. Names of sponsors on fencing. Trail creator Don Rankin talking about developing the project.
Rankin VO shots of people with disabilities, explaining that the trail has to work for everyone, not just those who are disabled. Rankin pushing wheelchair user Patrick Nuttgens, Professor of Architecture at York University, talking about some new wooden path surfaces, looking at plants, drainpipe edgings, herbs, well with metal fish, log chess table. Rankin talking about the scale of objects and their relationship to the scale of the surrounding landscapes, and the ‘illusions’ these things can create. Rankin with Nuttgens, explaining some of these illusions, including a tree that died of Dutch elm disease but was found to have a remarkable root system which has been preserved as part of a sculpture. Nuttgens suggests that the Park is an enormous folly, full of ideas and invention, but incorporates all the features of an English landscape: it incorporates things to walk through, to touch, to smell, to hear, etc. It therefore works for everyone. Children. Rankin talking about the playful nature of the Park.
William Kirby, partially sighted art consultant, feeling exhibits as part of his preparation for the production of audio tapes to help similar visitors to enjoy the Park. Kirby walking round the Park; part of his descriptive tape heard over; Kirby discussing his tape as he walks along. Kirby in the Birdcage, and examining Phillip King’s Fire King No.4, and Open (red blue) Bound (1973); Kirby’s VO. Standing Buffalo (1988) by Elisabeth Frink. Nuttgens and VO various art works on how public art should be enjoyable rather than solemn. Rankin VO visitors on how artists have become divorced from society, and how privileged he feels to be able to work in a space of such natural beauty. Credits.

Production companyOpen Air
Running time25 minutes
Full credits

Narrator Gabrielle Claister;
Camera Peter Rance;
Sound Tom White;
Editor John Veal,
Marcela Cuneo;
Dubbing Mixer Colin Martin;
Graphics Steve Masters;
Music Edward Shearmur.
Thanks to Sound Alive,
Lawfield Land Middle School, Wakefield.
Executive Producer Rodney Wilson;
Producer Trevor Boden;
Director Maggie Ellis.
An Open Air Production for the Arts Council of Great Britain.
© Arts Council of Great Britain MCMXCIII.

Film segmentGallery Without Walls - ACE252.2
Gallery Without Walls - ACE252.3
Gallery Without Walls - ACE252.4
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