A former police sergeant from Barnsley who left the force to start a multimedia production company is holding an online exhibition to celebrate his passion for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Julian Nelson, who lives in Staincross and runs Your Story Creative in Denby Dale, will exhibit ‘Accidental Artist’ online from 7pm on Friday 1 May.
The exhibition was due to be held in the Bothy Gallery at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park but was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Comprising of still photography, a short film and a musical composition, the exhibition draws on Julian’s personal relationship with the park and the role it has played in his life.
Julian worked at the park’s former café (now the Bothy Gallery) as a teenager and is a regular visitor with his young family. His father Ian was a key member of the Bretton-based tourist attraction’s management team and after he died in 2006, a memorial bench was placed in the grounds.
Julian said: “Yorkshire Sculpture Park is really special to me. I’m not religious, but it feels like a spiritual place and the exhibition reflects that. It presents the park as a living being and tells the story of my life through its sculptures, landscape, nature and buildings.
“The exhibition is a personal passion project which also showcases what Your Story Creative can do. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time and I’m really looking forward to presenting it.”
‘Accidental Artist’ draws on elements of Julian’s struggles with his mental health, including his anxiety in his previous career and his grief over the death of his father.
He said: “The film explores the highs and lows of life; how fragile we all are and how our journeys take us in directions we sometimes don’t expect. Although I am in a more positive place with my mental health now, I don’t take it for granted - we all need to look after our minds as well as our physical health.”
Father-of-three Julian set up Your Story Creative in 2017 with wife Lyndsey, following a 14-year career with West Yorkshire Police which saw him become a sergeant.
He is also studying for a degree in media, moving image and photography at The University of Hull and the exhibition forms part of his final year project.
Julian said: “If someone told me my career would take such a different turn, I wouldn’t have believed them. I never thought I’d end up working in the creative industry, which is why the exhibition is called ‘Accidental Artist’. I’m making money from doing something I really love, and I feel like this exhibition marks the start of a new chapter.”
The exhibition can be viewed online from 7pm on Friday 1 May at www.yourstorycreative.co.uk/accidental-artist.It will be available to view indefinitely.