The Orangery, a unique grade II* building in the heart of Wakefield has been transformed by the artist Richard Woods into a giant simulated stonewall maze. The sculpture located in the park adjacent to Westgate Railway Station is within easy reach of the civic and cultural quarters of the city. The building has played a role for the last 200 years in the social history of Wakefield, so if you are just visiting, take time to explore the gardens.
The Orangery is also home to beam, an arts, architecture and learning company working throughout the Yorkshire region and beyond. Beam provides services and programmes to help people make better and more sustainable places. The grounds of Beam’s base, The Orangery, Wakefield are set to be transformed this summer by a large-scale 3D maze. A new art installation created by leading international artist Richard Woods, ‘A Maze for Yorkshire’ has been commissioned by Beam and will be in place at The Orangery from 8 June to 29 September.
Described by the artist as a ‘cartoon Yorkshire dry stone wall’, the artwork will be a colourful temporary structure 10 metres square, allowing visitors to explore the labyrinth, listen to a changing soundscape, relax and enjoy.
At the centre of the maze will be an intimate performance space, and Beam is issuing an invitation to local community groups, students, amateurs, and professionals to showcase their talents in the space over the summer. A soundscape for the maze will be created by Beam’s music producer in residence, Huddersfield’s Noah Burton, working alongside writers James Nash, Peter Spafford and students from Cathedral Academy and Hemsworth Arts & Community College. It will feature stories and poems created by Wakefield people, which Burton will blend with music and sound.
‘A Maze for Yorkshire’, supported by Arts Council England and Wakefield Council, marks the largest commission at our base for Beam, and we are aiming to draw the public’s attention to the often overlooked Grade II* listed Orangery, a cultural facility with a fascinating and varied history in the city.
“Wakefield has become a magnet for some of the most talented architects and artists of our time. We have a market designed by David Adjaye, a contemporary gallery by David Chipperfield, and some of the world’s best artists at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park – so, in some ways it’s unsurprising that someone of Richard Woods’ reputation is willing to work with us at The Orangery. However, his vision for ‘A Maze for Yorkshire’ is a delightful and welcome surprise that everyone who encounters it can enjoy. It is also a catalyst for a series of creative events and community activities that will animate the grounds of The Orangery, shining a light once again on this beautiful historic gem,” says Creative Director Robert Powell.