Locals Protest Rachel Whiteread’s Dalby Forest Sculpture, Comparing it to an ‘Inner City Bus Shelter’

Yorkshire residents complain that the concrete sculpture of a ‘Nissen hut’ will attract excrement, vandalism and litter

Local residents are up in arms over plans for a Rachel Whiteread sculpture to land in North Yorkshire’s Dalby Forest this autumn. The Turner Prize-winning artist's piece, a concrete cast of a ‘Nissen Hut’, is due to be placed in Dalby’s former Forestry work camp site, home to several such structures.

The commission is part of the Forestry Commission’s series of events marking the centenary of the end of World War I. Nissen huts were steel buildings made for soldiers in WWI and later used to house workers in the 1930s. The Commission said that the artwork intended to ‘interpret and celebrate the history of the site.’

A spokesperson for the local council said the standard of the planned artwork would make it ‘of national, even international, note.’ But locals have complained about visitor congestion, comparing the piece to ‘a bus shelter in an inner city’ and not in keeping with the landscape.

Rachel Whiteread, Tate Britain, London, installation view, 2017. Courtesy: Flickr, Creative Commons; photograph: ACME

Rachel Whiteread, Tate Britain, London, installation view, 2017. Courtesy: Flickr, Creative Commons; photograph: ACME

Rachel Whiteread, Tate Britain, London, installation view, 2017. Courtesy: Flickr, Creative Commons; photograph: ACME

In a letter to the local authority, resident Nicky Wearmouth had the following to say about Whiteread’s plans: ‘I don’t think that a concrete structure which regularly plays host to dog poo-bags, picnic left-overs and graffiti with an added air of eau de urine is the best way to ‘interpret and celebrate’ Dalby’s history.’

Whiteread won the Turner Prize in 1993 for her temporary public sculpture House (1993), a full-size cast of the interior of a soon to be demolished East End terraced house. It was destroyed after less than three months by the local council. From the frieze archive, read Adrian Searle writing in 1994 on the iconic work: ‘An essentially hidden, private space has, by an act of inversion, become a physical, public expression.’

Most Read

60 years after the celebrated Brutalist architect fell foul of local authorities, a Berlin Unité d’Habitation apartment...

The central thrust of the exhibition positions Sicily as the fulcrum of geopolitical conflicts over migration, trade,...
The Carters’s museum takeover powers through art history’s greatest hits – with a serious message about how the canon...
The 20-metre-high Mastaba finally realizes the artist and his late wife Jeanne-Claude’s design
‘What is being exhibited at Manifesta, above all, is Palermo itself’
A tender new film about the fashion icon and troubled genius whose creative vision ‘started the 21st century’
A survey of 1,016 visual artists across the world finds that the badges of professional success don’t necessarily...
With the 12th edition of the itinerant European biennial opening in Palermo, what do local artists, curators and...
In the age of Brexit, why Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to return the ‘stolen’ Parthenon marbles has never been...
The museum director, who resigned last year, acted with ‘integrity’, an independent report finds
With the government’s push for the controversial English baccalaureate, why the arts should be an integral part of the...
From Bruce Nauman at the Schaulager to the story of a 1970s artist community in Carona at Weiss Falk, all the shows to...
Sotheby’s and Christie’s say they are dropping the practice of using female-only staff to pose for promotional...
The curators seem set to ask, ‘how civilized is the world’s current state of affairs?’

On View

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

April 2018

frieze magazine

May 2018

frieze magazine

June - August 2018