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Yorkshire Sculpture Park
West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG

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Press Release

05-07-2013

Write to Roam: YSP sheep sprayed with words cast messages across the landscape

Summer visitors to Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) can have fun spotting word combinations unwittingly arranged by the Park’s resident sheep.

Each of the 150 recently shorn ewes has been sprayed with words inspired by the Bretton Estate and the Yorkshire dialect for Write to Roam; a project by local artist and designer Alison Cooper. Alison came up with the idea after seeing a flock of sheep walking in a line and thought it would be fascinating and amusing if each sheep carried a different word to create various, random messages.

Following successful trials elsewhere, Cooper worked with YSP Archive to develop this project for the specific history and site of the Park. Cooper worked in collaboration with graphic designer Robert Hurst to create the font and local company Cutting Technologies were commissioned to make the stencils.

Alison said, “I was given access to the rich archives of the Estate and used this resource to produce the final words. From the land being closed and private to where it is now open, public and free, Write To Roam will hopefully serve as an interesting way in to the story of the Estate.

“This has been a fascinating project to have been involved in, learning the history of the land, people and animals at the Bretton Estate, from its inception following the Norman Conquest and the Domesday Book, right through to its present day management by YSP.”

Amongst the 130 words selected are Bretton, sculpture, family, farm, free, future, thissen (a local word for ‘yourself’), welcome and Yorkshire. The stencilled words are expected to be visible for at least six weeks.

Visitors are encouraged to explore the landscape to take inspiration and humour from the constantly shifting formation of phrases.