Exhibition: Enclosures: memories and decay

There is an exhibition of my work entitled, ‘Enclosures: memories and decay’ running at the ‘Month of Sundaes’ in Uppermill (Oldham) until 29th Feb 2012.

Enclosures are a significant feature of the Western European landscape and they represent a relationship between people and the land. They often serve a symbolic as well as functional purpose. However, enclosures are rarely permanent and they are subject to the vagaries of the weather and vicissitudes of time. One of the major influences on the landscape of the United Kingdom was the Enclosure Acts which were a series of Acts passed by Parliament. The Acts were responsible for enclosing land which had previously been open fields or common land. The majority of enclosures were carried out between 1760 and 1850 when approximately 21% of the land in England became enclosed. Once enclosed use of the land became restricted to the owner
The construction of enclosures reflect human endeavour and are associated with the social history of beautiful and remote places where people often struggle on the margins of viable economic existence. The decline of the fabric of enclosures is usually a slow process and not all parts of the enclosure decay at the same rate. Their decay leaves markers in the landscape of a time past, holding distant memories of a different era and people who are no longer with us. The markers left by enclosures represent a sense of continuity and change; a connection with the past but also a disengagement from it. The remnants of enclosures reflect a tenuous link to the past and embody the nature of change. Objects in the natural world change constantly but at the same time they retain an identity that enables them to be recognised as what they once were. One of the major dilemmas we face in our daily life is coping with continuity and change which are two sides of the same coin.
The images in this exhibition are concerned with the concepts of continuity and change. They are images of remains and artefacts left standing whilst others have decayed, disappeared or been removed. The remaining objects are still identifiable as part of what they once were, an enclosure, and they are a link to the past and a testament to the human intervention that was required to create them in the first place. But they also reflect on the nature of change and the effects of time and challenge the viewer to consider questions of, ‘Who?’, ‘Why?’ and ‘When?’

The images in the exhibition can be viewed in the folder with the same title as the exhibition.

Journal Comments

  • mmargot
  • David Robinson
  • Barbara Morrison
  • David Robinson