5 out of 5 stars

The first place that I lived in Guildford was called Sheepfold Road. Never thought much of it until I opened up the most recent of Andy Goldsworthy’s book that I got from the library and realised that this collection of art was based around sheepfolds. These simple structures were used for corralling, washing and sheltering sheep from the harshest things that the Cumbrian weather can throw at them.

Goldsworthy approached Cumbria County Council with the idea of renovating them to enclose some of his artworks or to actually be the artwork in some cases. To complete this task would require more than one man and he set about it with a team of stonewallers and big machines. By the time he had gone to 2006 a total of 35 folds had been created and it is those that are documented and photographed in this book.

And as with all of his other books that I have read, it is just beautiful. Not only does he take a pretty good photo of his creations, but it is those creations that make this book so special. A lot of his art is normally more transitory, made from leaves, ice and sticks, but these are very much more permanent installations. There are sheepfolds with huge boulders in, some with cairns and others with substantial parts of a tree built in. Some of the folds are lovingly restored and others he has pushed what he can do with the structures incorporating elements in the walls that surprise and delight. If you have ever come across his work before this is another book that you should read.


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