Garden news

The Hepworth Wakefield has revealed major plans for a new public garden measuring approximately 6,000 square metres, as part of the gallery's 5th anniversary celebrations. 

Four designs by some of the world’s leading international garden designers and visionary landscape architects are vying for the chance to create The Hepworth Riverside Garden at the award-winning gallery. 

A judging panel comprising David Liddiment (Chair); Simon Wallis OBE, Director, The Hepworth Wakefield; Chris Blundell, RHS; Jane Marriott, THW Deputy Director; Edwina Sassoon, 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, has shortlisted four designs for public consultation. 

The shortlisted designs are presented by multi award-winning designers Christopher Bradley Hole (and Brita von Schoenaich (joint submission), Tom Stuart-Smith, Cleve West, and Peter Wirtz, who between them have won an impressive 16 gold medals and 6 coveted ‘best in show’ awards at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. 

These shortlisted designs will be displayed on garden sheds outside in the existing gallery garden at The Hepworth Wakefield, for four weeks from 1-31 October. Local residents, visitors and supporters of the gallery are invited to come and see the displayed designs in-situ and give their feedback by completing a questionnaire in the gallery. Full design proposals will also be available to view on request. Public recommendations from the survey will be considered by the judging panel before the final decision is made on a winning design.

The winner will be announced early 2016 to coincide with Visit England’s Year of the English Garden, when a fundraising campaign for the garden will be launched. 

Jane Marriott, Deputy Director at The Hepworth Wakefield and member of the garden judging panel said: “It’s wonderful to be able to share our vision for the Wakefield Waterfront area with the development of The Hepworth Riverside Garden as we approach our 5th anniversary. We have huge ambitions for our milestone year and our hope to create a new visitor attraction and public space for Wakefield is part of this. We really want people to see the plans in-situ with a display of  the designs in the current garden. If you would like to see our aspirations and share your thoughts on them, then please come down to see us before the end of October.” 

David Liddiment, Chair of The Hepworth Wakefield Trust and Chair of the garden judging panel, added: "A passion for garden is evident throughout Yorkshire, where I grew up, and we hope people will be as excited about the notion of a public garden as part of the riverside site as we are. We felt it was important to work closely with a leading garden designer, whose ambitions matched that of architect David Chipperfield, to create a cohesive and inspiring landscape that will provide a new visitor attraction for Wakefield.” 

Anna Pavord, best-selling author, writer and member of the garden judging panel said: “It has been a great pleasure to be involved in choosing a design for the new landscape to be installed around The Hepworth Wakefield. It is a thrilling site, with the river charging over the weir and the wonderful old mill buildings sheltering it to the south. I have been coming to Wakefield for many years to marvel at the gorgeous English Florists’ tulips grown by members of the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society. Now I shall look forward to an extra delight: the Hepworth Wakefield blooming with trees and flowers where before there were none.”

Simon Wallis OBE, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield: "Garden and the Yorkshire landscape were a hugely important part of Barbara Hepworth’s creative life and they influenced her sculpture and its settings. It’s fitting, therefore, that we create a natural environment that would have inspired her, and that will have a rewarding all year round dialogue with our superb building and art collection.”