Andy Goldsworthy: Shadow Stone Fold

Following on from projects in Scotland and Cumbria, in which Goldsworthy worked with existing sheep folds in various states of disrepair, the artist consulted with a tenant farmer at YSP to design and replace a wooden fold in the Country Park with a functional stone structure, Shadow Stone Fold. It replaced the original wooden sheepfold and is still used for the management of the flock.

While practical, this artwork has hidden depths. Enter the fold and you can find the stone steps on the wall at the back. You can use the steps to climb over the wall and find a large flat stone – this is the shadow stone. By laying on the stone you can create a shadow of your body using weather – sunlight, rain or snow. The shadows won’t last forever because they are ephemeral. They will change and disappear over time.

“Landscape is beautiful to look at, but as anybody who works with animals, on a farm, or with the land knows, it is also raw and harsh. I think that my art has suffered from the same misreading. The land, for many, is a pastoral backdrop to the weekend, an antidote to the nitty-gritty of urban life – the ‘real’ life. Obviously when you work outside and live in the countryside, it is not a pastoral retreat. Ultimately, it is a place where life, death, and decay occur in a potent and powerful way. It is the toughest place to work as far as I’m concerned. It is not some sort of idyll – it is often physically and psychologically uncomfortable and is at times severe and disturbing.”

- Andy Goldsworthy

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