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Andy Goldsworthy: Hanging Trees


When developing his ideas for Hanging Trees, Andy Goldsworthy intended that the works ‘be about those things we do not see – that demand a physical engagement of the land and which are often missed by those who choose to see the landscape from a fixed point, whether it be a house, window, car, or television’. Goldsworthy chose Oxley Bank as the site for Hanging Treesbecause it is the dividing boundary between two separate areas of agricultural land. Moreover, he has suggested that, ‘the tension between tree and wall is evocative of the historical tension between a forested landscape and one which is farmed. A field, cleared of trees, is the site of a battle that has occurred between a farmer and the land’.

Hanging Trees amplifies a dynamic and complex relationship between wood and stone that has long been central to Goldsworthy’s work: stone being traditionally viewed as permanent and trees symbolic of mortal life.