Hebden Bridge artist to help West Yorkshire carve itself a future in art world

Hebden Bridge artist Rosanne Robertson will take part in the Yorkshire Sculpture International.
Hebden Bridge artist Rosanne Robertson will take part in the Yorkshire Sculpture International.

Five Yorkshire artists including one from Calderdale and 10 teachers have been handed funding packages as part of the country’s biggest-ever sculpture event, which takes place in Leeds and Wakefield next summer.

Sculptors Jill McKnight and Rhian Cooke from Leeds, Natalie Finnemore from Sheffield, Rosanne Robertson from Hebden Bridge and Ryoko Akama from Huddersfield have been named associate artists at the first Yorkshire Sculpture International, a £1.4m event aimed at placing the former home of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth at the centre of today’s sculpture world.

A separate group of artists will work with five schools in the county to help pupils create their own sculptures. Works from the collections at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, the Hepworth Wakefield and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park will be taken there for a day each.

Jane Bhoyroo, the event’s producer, said: “These are just some examples of the wider work of the project to inspire the current and next generation of artists from West Yorkshire.

“We’re all so excited to see where this project takes the artists’ work as they are all incredibly talented individuals.”

The project attracted around 100 applicants. Ms Robertson, who has exhibited in Reykjavik, Ulster and London, said: “Being selected means I will have access to a wider conversation and support to develop ways to place the work within the public realm.”

Ms Akama, who is originally from Japan and uses “found objects” such as antiques, toys and glass bottles, added: “I am very honoured to be one of the selected artists. I hope to use this opportunity to pursue my creative progress, completely anew.”

The project also sees teachers from Wakefield and Leeds working directly with galleries to help teach sculpture to their students.