Richard Long b.1945
T01720 A Hundred Mile Walk 1971–2
Inscribed ‘Richard Long 1972’ on back of map.
Pencil on Ordnance Survey map (scale 1 in. = 1 mile), printed text, photograph, typewritten and printed labels, mounted on paper board 24x35 (61 x 89), size of image 8¾ x 19¼ (22 x 49). Purchased from the Lisson Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1973.
Exh: Henry Moore to Gilbert and George, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, September–November 1973 (125,repr.)
Repr: The New Art, catalogue of Arts Council exhibition, Hayward Gallery, August–September 1972, pp.48–9.
The following notes on the work which have been approved and edited by the artist, were prepared by the compiler from various conversations and from a brief questionnaire annotated by the artist in April 1974. The choice of topics for discussion was the compiler’s. (See also T01783 and P07082).
‘A Hundred Mile Walk’ was done over the New Year 1971–2, hence the dating. The artist records his awareness of some of the sounds heard on the walk, how he became aware of the presence of rivers as he approached them, pockets of sound in the gullies, and how the sound disappeared behind him as he walked on. The first time the circle was walked it was new, but each subsequent time it became more and more familiar, particularly the crossing places of rivers and streams (‘In and out the sound of rivers over familiar stepping stones’).
‘Corrina, Corrina’ (Day 6) is a reference to a traditional folk song, sung by Bob Dylan.
The work concerns both the internal feelings and thoughts of the artist and the external aspects of his experience during the walk. It records all kinds of sensory and perceptual experiences including time, space, movement, sight, sound, touch, taste, illusion, etc. These are on various scales and levels but all take particularly pure form giving a pungent sense of heightened awareness: a north wind, sucking icicles from the grass stems (Day 3), the sound of rivers, folk song, the physical action of striding round the circle, ‘Flop down on my back with tiredness stare up at the sky and watch it recede’ (Day 7).
The photograph below the text was taken during the walk, looking onwards in the direction of the walk.
Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1972–1974, London 1975.