May 31, 2016

Do you know this New York based artist?  Brian Donnelly, better know as KAWS who started his rise as a graffiti artist, turned sculptor, painter and toy designer.  Now famously known for his cartoonish characters, slash Mickey Mouse inspired and Michelin men icons with the X-ed out eyes.  I'm obsessed with him.  So much that it was worth to travel 3500 miles across the ocean to view his work!

I was in London over Memorial Day weekend, and had to catch the KAWS exhibit at Yorkshire Sculpture Park currently on now till June 12, 2016.  From London you can escape to the English countryside and arrive in Wakefield Westgate by train in 2.5 hours.  Then catch a 15 minute taxi ride to Yorkshire Sculpture Park which is 500 acres of sprawling grounds.  Sheep greet you at the entrance of the property, with a backdrop of rolling hills, and home to a whole load of artwork.  There is so much to do and see you could spend days there.  I only had 4 hours to spare, so stuck to the KAWS exhibit trail and thus only saw a small slice of this historic park.

Following the signs to the KAWS exhibit I first spy from a distance 'Small Lies' standing in an open field, in the Lower Park.  Aww…he looks sad!  Need a hug?

The Afrosia wood is so gorgeous, and I love his Pinocchio nose.  But more then anything it is the size of these sculptures.  They're beyond massive, and range from 4 to 10 meters in height.  'Small Lies' is the tallest model.  See the lady in my photo?  She was only the height of his shoe!  HA.

Across the path is another open field with more of KAWS sculptures.  'Better Knowing' (face in hands), 'Final Days' (monster unleashed), and my favorite that reminds me of my kiddos wrapped around my leg, 'Good Intentions'.  Or how I remember it…Mommy and Me.

That's a taste of the open air exhibit.  Moving along now to the Longside Gallery that is indoors, to see more of his works.  Beware that it is situated on the other side of the property.  I literally mean the other end!  Remember how big this property is?  Whoa I did not realize what a trek it was to get to till mid way.  That was my cardio for the day!  HA.

This is the path that leads you there.  LONG.  Along the way you past fields of gold flowers and pastures filled with cows.  Watch out for the poo!

So scenic and lovely to sit and watch.  The animals don't bother you either so don't be afraid.  There are a few benches along the way to stop for a breather and some water.  Otherwise make yourself at home in the grass.

Eventually you do see the light at the end of the tunnel…the road does end!  WOO HOO.  Your reward besides the Longside Gallery is a small kiosk serving ice cream and coffee if you need to sit and relax before continuing.  No food and drinks allowed inside gallery.

The Longside Gallery houses more of KAWS works.  My favorite being the 'Companion' and  'Accomplice' when Pink Panther and a bunny mate!

Good news is you don't have to trek it back through the fields to get home!  There is a shuttle van that runs every 30 minutes back and forth from outside the Longside Gallery back to the visitor center.  Unless of course you really crave that extra workout to get back?

That shuttle saved me time, and gave me half an hour to chill before heading back to the train station.  Grabbed a sandwich from the cafe and had a picnic out with the sheep.  It was great!

Glad I got to support my fellow New Yorker.  I hope these pieces of works come back home to NYC.  I can especially see those open air sculptures fitting in nicely in Central Park, can't you?  Watch for it!

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