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Certain artists are indelibly linked with certain materials, and for the artist Ursula von Rydingsvard, the media synonymous with her work is cedar wood.

Her exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park takes this natural material and presents it in a new and unique way, set up both inside the gallery and outside in the park itself.

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Her passion for the material is unparalleled. After 35 years working with cedar, chiselling and cutting great slabs of it every day, Ursula has developed an allergy to it and is forced to work in a protective suit. But even this hasn’t put her off her artistic stride.

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“The cedar beams serve as von Rydingsvard’s blank canvas, a starting point from which she explores psychological and emotional themes,” the show’s curators say. “Her works do not grow from sketches or drawings on paper; rather their development is instinctive and responsive throughout the making process, imbuing the works with a feeling of life.”

Ursula finds it interesting to consider her artistic obsessions in the context of her ancestral family, who were farmers in eastern Europe. “They were surrounded with wood – wooden homes, wooden fences, wooden tools to farm the land,” she explains.

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With more than 40 works on show in Yorkshire, she draws us into her world as her sculptures prove just how much you can do with wood on both an immense and much more intimate scale.

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