Transparency at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, preview: It’s clear

Polly Checkland Harding
St Mary's No. 1 by Garth Evans

Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s latest exhibition features flashing chandeliers, evaporated paintings – and reflections on what it means to be transparent.

‘So unknown, so clear / that I could not tell glass from air’ – ‘Empty Metaphor’ by Lavinia Greenlaw in The Casual Perfect

Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s latest exhibition thinks about transparency – both of objects and ideas. Fifteen sculptures, installations and films will be presented in the park’s 18th-century deconsecrated Chapel, a gathering of artist responses to subjects such as truth, clarity and openness associated with transparency. In the wake of one of the murkiest political campaigns in living memory, the exhibition’s themes look set to resonate in an entirely new way.

Artist responses to subjects such as truth, clarity and openness

Transparency (25 June – 4 September) will feature an installation by leading contemporary artist Cerith Wyn Evans in the form of a chandelier hung at eye level. Titled ‘“Diary: How to Improve the world (you will only make matters worse) continued 1968 (revised)” from ‘M’ writings ’67-’72 by John Cage’, the chandelier will flash on and off in a Morse code version of composer, writer and artist Cage’s writings, which will then be translated back into text on a nearby screen. Here, a clear object becomes a kind of communication, but also a refraction of meaning.

Also on display will be two paintings from Yelena Popova’s Evaporating series – works created from disappearance. Sculptor Garth Evans, meanwhile, has attempted to create something that could be defined as sculpture and yet not an ‘object’; the result is ‘St Mary’s No.1’, a fragile layering of welded polythene sheets inspired by a pool of water inside Evans’ studio. Throughout, definitions are bent and meaning played with – a reminder, through art, that although something might seem clear, it hardly ever is.

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