Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) has extended its successful residency programme for emerging artists with a new Yorkshire Graduate Award. The first recipient is recent Leeds Arts University graduate Connor Shields . Shields will be in residence at the Park until September 7. The Yorkshire Graduate Award is the latest scheme at the Park to offer recent graduates an opportunity to reflect on their practice and begin to move forward as an artist. They benefit from access to facilities including metal and wood workshops, and studio space; a budget for materials for the development of new ideas; time with YSP’s skilled technical team; and critiques and guidance from the curatorial team.
During his time at YSP, Shields will continue to explore and challenge ideas of working-class masculinity through his use of materials and processes. Combining industrial objects such as bricks and scaffolding with materials and techniques that have ‘feminine’ associations, such as knitting, he attempts to question societal principles that shape us, based on the gender binary.
“Shields is exploring some particularly interesting themes in sculpture and from his recent degree show we saw the potential for development of his practice through spending time at YSP,” said senior curator Helen Pheby.
The Yorkshire Graduate Award follows successful partnerships with the University of the Arts, London and the Royal College of Art (RCA), which have brought seven recent graduates to YSP since 2015.
Tianyou Huang, winner of the 2018 RCA Graduate Award, will also be in residence at the Park throughout August – his work investigates the sense of motion, and making objects move through the concepts of inevitability and contingency.