KAWS Exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park



A couple of weekends ago I finally had the chance to drive over to Yorkshire Sculpture Park and see the new KAWS exhibit designed by New York based artist Brian Donnelly.


The first piece that really caught my eye was ‘Small Lie’ which is the largest of all of the sculptures, the photo really doesn’t show you just how tall this wooden sculpture is. A lot of the pieces look really sad, but they were really interesting to see.


The sculptures have been influenced by childhood and cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny and even the Michelin Man.



I think this one has to be my favourite. It just looks like a little kid playing in the woods to me, and it just made me smile amongst all of the other sculptures that just seem so sad.



This one, titled ‘Along the Way’ is one of three different versions, this one was recently in Amsterdam and looks to me as though there are two friends helping each other through a tragedy, and struggling with each other to get on with their lives. Though I suppose the sculptures would mean different things to different people, and I think that’s the main benefit to having no explanation by them. Just a name. Sure you could look up what other people thought, but I think it’s nice to interpret them in your own way.


After seeing the playful sculpture in the trees, this one I thought could be taken in two different ways. Is it playing a game of ‘peek-a-boo’ with the other, or is it crying in despair? I think it depends largely on your outlook, though I like to imagine the happier version, playing games with the others!



I loved the colours in this one. So bright against the black exterior. I’d love to see this done entirely from an inside perspective, really bright and colourful.


This one struck me as a happy sculpture too, though not for the smaller ones! I liked to think it was a parent, bringing their children inside after playing out all day. So even though the smaller sculptures are sad, they had still spent the day happy.



This one reminded me of Donnie and S Darko, films that I wasn’t a particular fan of as they are quite dark. I tried to imagine the inspiration as bugs bunny, but I just couldn’t shake the creepy bunny mask from the Darko films every time I looked at it!


I also wanted to believe that this sculpture wasn’t sat burying his head in his hands in sadness, but that he was playing hide and seek with the others out in the fields. I think I just wanted to put a happy twist on all of them if I could!


There was something just so interesting about these sculptures that showed their imagined interiors, even though their exteriors were based on cartoon mice, there was something so human about them on the inside. I think we all imagine cartoons to be like us on the inside though, even if just their emotions.


The paintings were so bright and cheery, a stark contrast to most of the other work! They really seemed to brighten the place up, and even though they are bold and simple, they just made a happy statement along the wall.


I think I actually prefer the Michelin Man drawn this way! I’d never heard of KAWS before the exhibition was advertised at the sculpture park, and I have to say i’m a fan now!

I’d really recommend seeing this exhibition if you get chance to, it’s going to be at Yorkshire Sculpture Park until 12th June 2016, and it’s definitely worth the visit!

Half of the exhibition is outside, amongst the other sculpture exhibitions and the smaller ones are inside an art gallery at the top of the park.

Have you seen any of the KAWS exhibition? I’d love to know what you thought!

Love, Amylou x


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