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Andy Goldsworthy: Outclosure

Longside

Dry stone walls are a significant, traditional feature of the farmed landscape, particularly in northern Britain. They are evidence of human control of the land and walls have been the result and cause of much social conflict. 

Issues of land access have long informed Goldsworthy’s practice. The Inclosure Consolidation Act of 1801 endorsed the ongoing practice of enclosing common land. This forced peasants to sell to those more powerful, resulting in large numbers of dispossessed migrants.

When Goldsworthy moved to Cumbria in 1982, he became aware of the relationship between the open fell and the enclosing fold; the free and occupied land. Outclosure in Round Wood physically illustrates the act of making places inaccessible and was built on land owned by Job Earnshaw & Bros Ltd, with their kind permission, adding further to the ideas of ownership and accessibility behind the work.

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