Richard Long born 1945


ARTIST ROOMS artist essay

Richard Long first came to prominence during the late 1960s. He was among a generation of British artists who wanted to extend the possibilities of sculpture beyond the confines of traditional materials.

Long’s work is rooted in his deep affinity with nature, developed during solitary walks. Many of his walks have taken him through remote areas of Britain while others have been as far afield as Nepal, Africa, Mexico and Bolivia. While travelling, Long sets himself specific tasks, such as walking a straight line for a predetermined distance, following the source of a river, or picking up and dropping stones at intervals along the route. He never makes permanent alterations to the landscapes he passes through, but rearranges natural materials to form simple, geometric shapes.

Long's journeys are documented with photographs, maps, wall drawings and printed statements. He has explained that while his sculptural works feed the senses, the text works feed the imagination. Although much of his work is made in the landscape and known through photography, Long also brings natural materials into the gallery space. Somerset Willow Line and Cut Slate Ellipse, both included in ARTIST ROOMS, are two key examples of works made specifically for an architectural setting.