Andy Goldsworthy: Outclosure

In woodland at the highest point of YSP, Outclosure illustrates the act of making places physically inaccessible. The circular walled form is too high for people to look into, and has no openings or windows to see through or access. Without any human intervention, this has become a space reclaimed by nature.

Issues of land access have long informed Goldsworthy’s practice and when the artist moved to Cumbria in 1982, he became aware of the relationship between free and occupied land. The Inclosure Consolidation Act of 1801 endorsed the ongoing practice of enclosing common land. Areas of free land were transferred into private ownership which had a detrimental impact on landless agricultural workers who relied on using common land to farm. Outclosure was built on land not owned by YSP and depended on gaining permission from the private landowner, further emphasising the issue of possession.

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