Store to Tour: Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Placard, pin badge, denim, leather Fist clenched tight
At the end of your tether Minds in the margins all come together The revolution will not start itself. I’m Helen Pheby, senior curator
here at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and we’ve been part of the Arts Council
Collection National Partners programme, and Revolt & Revolutions
is the sixth and final exhibition as part of that particular programme. NEW SPEAKER:
I’ve been a political activist since my late teens. I’ve always been into sub-cultures
like punk and new wave. So when this came together
and I was asked to write a poem, it was a match made in heaven for me,
really. HELEN: Matt was born in Wakefield.
He knows the context, and when he delivered this poem, I was just amazed that it was
a completely independent artwork in its own right, but he’d picked up on
all the themes and brought it together so beautifully. MATT: I was immediately drawn to
the punk portraits by Steve Johnston. As soon as I saw them,
I knew I wanted to write about them, because obviously they’ve got
such a striking visual identity. HELEN: Steve Johnston’s punk portraits were really inspiring for me. He was told by the editor of Vogue
when he was a young artist that he should photograph
what was on the street. And so he went out and made these
incredible portraits of these punks. These pictures were taken
between ’77 and ’78, so it’s right at the height
of a movement. HELEN: And it’s really interesting
that that did coincide exactly with the founding of the Sculpture Park – that anti-capitalist,
anti-establishment moment that the roots of YSP were also part of. MATT: You always try
and write about characters, but to have something that’s so authentic
and, like, unapologetic, as a poet, that’s sort of a dream, really. Give a soapbox to a voice
that can’t be heard amongst the crowd There’s a rebel with a cause
There’s a dream that’s not allowed There’s a sub-group that’s been silenced
A door that’s slamming shut An establishment that works
To keep you structured in a rut Apathy is acceptance Acceptance never improves So stand up and be counted We’ve got goalposts to move Revolt, reject and rejoice in your dreams Protest is always more potent
than it seems. NEW SPEAKER:
Today’s event is called Voice of Change, and it’s a real celebration
of the Revolt & Revolutions exhibition. I’m looking to write some protest poetry
with families. Everybody from a very young age onwards
is interested in protest in some form, whether it’s not going to bed
when you’re told to, not eating your vegetables,
not doing your homework. He’s a fantastic poet. He’s really good
at helping people find their voice. Be it beret-wearing Ban the Bomb Or mohawk-wearing punk Others clenched nostrils
But we shouted when it stunk. I think the Arts Council Collection
is absolutely vital. A lot of people think that
art’s not for them or that it’s not really attainable. For me as a youngster,
I didn’t go to London until I was 16, so to have this on my doorstep,
it really does give you a gateway into internationally acclaimed artists. The Arts Council Collection is publicly
funded. It belongs to the people, and it’s being enjoyed here in Yorkshire,
which is brilliant. Revolt & Revolutions
Come and join the number Because nothing serves injustice
Like society in slumber Music and colour, peace signs and love There are far more below
Than there are sat above It takes an awful lot of raindrops
to form a monsoon And this station has a glitch It’s time to retune Don’t succumb to victimhood,
silence or stealth Because the revolution
will not start itself. (CAMERA WHIRRS)

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