Have your say on new garden design at The Hepworth

The Hepworth is unveiling a new gardens project. People can come to the gallery and vote on their favourite from four designs.'Jane Marriott deputy director
The Hepworth is unveiling a new gardens project. People can come to the gallery and vote on their favourite from four designs.'Jane Marriott deputy director

People are already having their say on plans to create a new waterfront garden at The Hepworth, Wakefield.

Last week the gallery unveiled four possible designs for the riverside “sanctuary”, as part of its fifth anniversary celebrations.

Tom Stuart-Smith design for Hepworth Riverside Garden.

Tom Stuart-Smith design for Hepworth Riverside Garden.

And people have been invited to visit the site to give feedback on their favourite.

The gallery installed two sheds on the land, showcasing the four plans by leading international landscape designers and architects.

Members of the public have until the end of the month to visit them and share their thoughts.

Jane Marriott, the gallery’s deputy director 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 fifth anniversary. We have huge ambitions for our milestone year and our hope to create a new visitor attraction and public space for Wakefield as 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.”

The judges - Simon Wallis, Hepworth Director; Ms Marriott, Chris Blundell of the Royal Horticultural Society; Edwina Sassoon of the Royal Academy of Arts; Anna Pavord, author and writer; Christopher Woodward, director of The Garden Museum; Wakefield Council leader Coun Peter Box; Dr Evelyn Stern of David Chipperfield Architects and Michael Ziff, The Hepworth Wakefield Trustee - will use the feedback to help select the winner.

The chosen design will be announced in the new year to coincide with Visit England’s Year of the English Garden and The Hepworth’s fifth anniversary.

The gallery will then launch a fundraising campaign so it can begin work on the project.

Mr Wallis said: “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.”

With three more weeks to go to choose your favourite, this week we preview the work of Tom Stuart-Smith.

He describes his proposed garden as a “modern, romantic response to the gallery’s varied post-industrial location with its riverside setting”.

A wall separates the garden from the main road, with the open spaces composed of paving and lawn, with various places for people to sit.

Large Beech and Pin Oak trees would sit at either end of the site to create bookends to the garden, with smaller trees scattered throughout.

There would also be steel shelters, lit to provide warm colouring at night.

His planting is designed to “create an extraordinary sculptural landscape of green, grey and brown”.