From the bridge you look over the basin of the River Calder, at a necklace of orange buoys above the weir; on the other side there’s a bizarre cartoon figure, a sort of ten-foot Mr Potato-head, made of ducting, a salt skip, bins and brushes, hanging from a crane. Below it are the barges and narrowboats clustered under the old industrial buildings of Wakefield’s waterfront. The bridge leads us over to to The Hepworth Wakefield, the two-year-old art gallery that houses a stunning collection of Barbara Hepworth’s sculpture, together with works by Henry Moore, both Wakefield-born.

Inside, the picture windows frame the river-bank willows, and the sun casts long shadows across the gallery floor and lights up the familiar Hepworth shapes: curved abstracts, (yes, with holes, in the style beloved of 50’s cartoonists), smooth surfaces contrasting with rough textures. Many of these are her plaster sculptures, and there are drawings and working models: here’s a full-size maquette of the Oxford Street John Lewis ‘Winged Figure’, and small smooth abstract still lifes, large wooden egg-shapes, everywhere surfaces that you want to stroke, and the golden afternoon light pouring in.

In the shop (who can resist a gallery shop?) I buy some coloured pencils. There was a time when they were my chosen medium, and I sit and draw Danielle, and drink a Belgian beer. Art galleries – they always start me up again.

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