House & Garden: Art Scene – Fiona McKenzie Johnston

House & Garden, October 1, 2023

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Art scene

If you have paid a visit to Wakefield in Yorkshire recently, you might have spotted some additions. Wakefield Council, in collaboration with The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, is unveiling a series of new monumental site-specific sculptures by artists such as Annie Morris, Halima Cassell and Jason Wilsher-Mills. Public artwork is not new – statues have adorned streets since ancient times – but its current emphasis dates from after the Second World War when, on a mission to beautify the Essex new town of Harlow, the founders of Harlow Art Trust declared that high-quality art should be part of the social fabric of everyday life. Some of the greatest artists of the 20th century – Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, Barbara Hepworth, Leon Underwood– created pieces for Harlow’s parks, shopping centres and office plazas, and new works are still being added ( In Wakefield, the contemporary commissions can be found at Westgate train station, outside the library and in The Hepworth Wakefield’s garden designed by Tom Stuart-Smith (featured in the November 2022 issue of House Garden). In London, two of Nick Hornby’s latest works have been installed, opposite St James’s Park tube station and on a residential street in Kensington. ‘Our environment affects everything, from our mood to our morals,’ he says. Pictured (from top) Not in Anger, 1979 , Leon Underwood. Power over others is Weakness disguised as Strength, 2023 , Nick Hornby