The Hepworth Wakefield is creating a new garden by leading international designer, Tom Stuart-Smith. Measuring approximately 6000 square metres, it will be one of the UK’s largest free public gardens. The Garden will be developed between the gallery and a series of large, empty Victorian mill buildings, transforming a currently underused lawned area into an inspiring space that will be enjoyed year round.
Gardens and the Yorkshire landscape were a hugely important part of Barbara Hepworth’s creative life and they influenced her sculpture and how her work was presented. The proposed garden design by Tom Stuart-Smith will be a modern, romantic response to the diverse and sophisticated urban setting surrounding The Hepworth Wakefield. The site brings together the drama of the riverside setting, the robust industrial heritage of Wakefield and the angular sculptural form of the David Chipperfield designed gallery.
The Garden will not only offer opportunities to extend the gallery’s programme outside, it will also provide vital green space in the heart of the city, and a new visitor attraction for Wakefield.
David Liddiment, Chair of The Hepworth Wakefield Trust and Chair of the garden judging panel, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to be working on this project with Tom Stuart-Smith, one of Britain’s top garden designers, as we create a new public space for Wakefield which we believe will enhance the experience of visiting The Hepworth and crucially, attract tourism to the city, further boosting the local economy. I feel confident that Tom’s designs for the site will create a cohesive and inspiring landscape that will provide a free, year-round attraction for Wakefield.”
Tom Stuart-Smith said: “I am delighted to be selected for this ambitious new project for The Hepworth Wakefield. Public commissions like these are scarce in the UK. I truly believe in the community and health benefits that gardens can bring and I am particularly excited by the socially transformative opportunities of this project. I am looking forward to working with the gallery to create a beautiful public space in this riverside setting that will be treasured by local residents and visitors alike.”
The gallery has launched a £2.27million fundraising campaign to deliver this ambitious project and is delighted to announce a £250,000 establishing gift from the Garfield Weston Foundation. To find out more about how you could support the project please contact LouisaWood@hepworthwakefield.org
Tom Stuart-Smith’s design was chosen from a shortlist of four by a judging panel comprising David Liddiment (Chair); Simon Wallis, THW Director; Jane Marriott, THW Managing Director; Chris Blundell, RHS; Edwina Sassoon, The Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts; Anna Pavord, author and writer; Christopher Woodward, Director, The Garden Museum; Cllr Peter Box, Leader of Wakefield Council; Dr Evelyn Stern, David Chipperfield Architects; and Michael Ziff, The Hepworth Wakefield Trustee. The four shortlisted designs were exhibited in a public display at the gallery in autumn 2015.