Four new outdoor art experiences in the UK

Get your culture fix this autumn with these new UK walking tours, exhibitions and installations — all without stepping into a gallery.

By Amelia Duggan
Published 6 Sept 2020, 08:00 BST
UK’s largest exhibition of outdoor sculptures by the Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor is finally open ...

UK’s largest exhibition of outdoor sculptures by the Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor is finally open to the public and features 24 seminal works spanning his 40-year career. 

Photograph by Pete Huggins

Norfolk: Anish Kapoor at Houghton Hall

Delayed but not diminished by coronavirus, the UK’s largest exhibition of outdoor sculptures by the Turner Prize winner is finally open to the public — and it’s free for under-18s. Featuring 24 seminal works spanning his 40-year career, these installations — including the iconic Sky Mirror (2018), a concave, topsy-turvy window onto the clouds above — pop against the elegant grounds and classical architecture of the 18th-century manor, built for Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole. Until 1 November. 

London: Andy Leek residency, King’s Cross

London’s buzzy business and dining district is celebrating its post-lockdown reawakening by partnering with street artist Andy Leek. The project: to use the whole 67-acre area as his canvas during a three-month-long residency. The brief: to create bright public art that reflects the (tentatively) hopeful mood of the country. It’s familiar territory for Leek — you may remember his 2015 Notes to Strangers project, in which uplifting, colourful, hand-written posters appeared across the capital. Until 30 September. 

Kew Gardens: Travel the World

Ten countries across six continents, all visited in one day — that’s what’s on offer this autumn, botanically speaking, at the Royal Botanical Gardens in London. Newly commissioned poems, prose and illustrations from international artists will help transport visitors as they explore a score of specially highlighted spots in the 320-acre site, from the flower-scented Mediterranean garden and the majestic Californian Redwood Grove through to the Japanese Garden of Peace, with its Great Pagoda. Until 16 October.

Guernsey: Renoir Walk

New for the Channel Island is a self-guided walk in the Moulin Huet valley, tracing the locations that inspired some of impressionist master Renoir’s paintings while on a summer holiday in 1883. Opened in 2019 to mark the centenary of his death, the Renoir Walk has five empty, ornate picture frames that look upon landscapes immortalised by the artist. Visitors can even scan a QR code to hear an audio guide by a world authority on his work.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is home to a world-beating collection of more than 80 sculptures. 

Photograph by Getty Images


The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is welcoming back visitors with its world-beating collection of more than 80 sculptures, which currently includes important loans from artists Ai Weiwei, Damien Hirst and Joana Vasconcelos. Be sure to book a ticket for an allocated time in advance.

Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh

In Edinburgh, meanwhile, Jupiter Artland — the expansive outdoor gallery established in the leafy grounds of Bonnington House — is open for local members to get a first glimpse of the exhibition dedicated to pioneering American conceptual artist Allan Kaprow.

Published in the Sept/Oct 2020 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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