SCULPTURES by an internationally acclaimed artist have gone on display outside York Art Gallery - just weeks after his death.

Ancient and Modern features nine sculptures, inspired by nature, myth and ancient cultures, by Michael Lyons of Cawood, near Selby, who died suddenly in April.

The first major exhibition of his work in York is in the unique setting of The Artist’s Garden behind the gallery, with the central space dominated by Amphitrite, a large painted steel structure from 1993.

Curator of fine art Becky Gee said his “incredible work” had been shown around the world and in some of the UK’s most respected art institutions but this was the first large scale exhibition in his home city.

She said the display would bring a new dimension to the setting of the garden, complementing and contrasting with the ancient walls of St Mary’s Abbey and the Edible Wood’s more rustic landscapes.

“Amphitrite is one of Lyons’ most ambitious creations and we hope it will excite and spark debate for those who come to see it as they explore this wonderful corner of the city centre,” she added.

Before his passing, Michael said that to his knowledge, this was the first time such a large exhibition of outdoor sculpture had been shown in York, certainly for many years.

“It is a great pleasure to make a contribution to the cultural life of York in this way and I hope that the exhibition will help to make sculpture a more integral part of the city,” he said.

Becky added: “It has been wonderful working on this exhibition with Michael before his passing. His energy, warmth and creativity made a real impact on the gallery team and we hope the show will prove to be a true celebration of the extraordinary skill and talent he possessed.” The free exhibition will run for 12 months.