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Turner Prize-Winning Artist Rachel Whiteread Launches New Work For Centenary Of Forestry Commission
Rachel Whiteread and Nissen Hut
Turner Prize-winning artist Rachel Whiteread today, 8 October 2018, unveiled a new sculpture in the heart of Yorkshire’s Dalby Forest. Nissen Hut is Whiteread's first permanent public sculpture in the UK. The work has been commissioned to mark the centenary of the Forestry Commission in 2019, and is part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.

Nissen Hut is a concrete cast of the interior space of a Nissen hut, the distinctive military structure invented by Major Peter Nissen during the First World War. These prefabricated steel structures were easily erected and had a variety of uses, including as workshops, field hospitals, housing and even churches.

Nissen huts were used to house labourers on Forestry Commission land after the organisation was established in 1919, to replenish the nation's timber reserves which were almost entirely depleted following the war effort. In Dalby itself, the structures were used in the forest’s 1930s work camp which offered much needed local employment and skills training to support the mass tree planting.

The work is part of Whiteread’s ongoing Shy Sculpture series, the aim of which is to cast and site unassuming buildings in the landscape. Rachel Whiteread said:

"Nissen Huts are an indigenous part of our post-war architecture. Placing this sculpture deep in the heart of Dalby Forest will lead visitors on a journey of discovery to its final resting place, a quiet memorial to these extraordinary structures.”

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said:

“At 14-18 NOW we invite artists to create new work in response to the First World War, and we are delighted to work with the Forestry Commission on this new work by Rachel Whiteread. Whiteread’s sculpture will be a permanent testament to the lasting impact of the First World War on the British landscape.”

Dalby Forest in full Autumnal glory
Ian Gambles, Director of the Forestry Commission said:

"Dalby was one of the first forests to be planted by the Forestry Commission after we were founded almost 100 years ago in 1919, so it is entirely fitting that it is now the lasting home of this extraordinary piece of art. Whiteread's sculpture is a moving testament to the lasting relationship we have had with our changing landscapes over the past century, and I look forward to seeing it evolve across the seasons as the forest continues to grow and change around it.

Turner Prize-Winning Artist Rachel Whiteread Launches New Work For Centenary Of Forestry Commission, 8th October 2018, 12:24 PM