Catalogue entry


Inscribed ‘R. Long’ on back
Ink, with typewritten labels, on photographs and card, all mounted on paper board, 23 7/8 × 32 (60.8 × 81.2)
Purchased from the artist through the Lisson Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1976

This work was originally untitled, but has become known as ‘Ben Nevis Hitch-Hike’. It was the first work that Richard Long made with a map and photographs. It is based on a journey that he made in April 1967 in which he walked and hitch-hiked from London to the summit of Ben Nevis and back again. The journey took six days, and at 11 a.m. each day he took two photographs. For one photograph he pointed the camera straight up, and for the other he pointed it straight down, and the photographs which appear in the work are the only ones taken on the journey. He set out at 11 a.m. on Sunday and reached the summit of Ben Nevis at around mid-day on the Tuesday.

When Long visited New York in 1969 he carried this work in three sheets in a folder. He was asked by John Gibson whether he would sell the work, declined, but agreed to have photographs made of each of the three sheets, which were signed on the back. This work (19 × 23 3/4in) was later sold, and is now in the collection of the Kunsthaus, Zurich. When the Tate bought the original in 1976, Long reprinted the photographs and laid them and the text on to conservation board, as the original was by this time slightly worn. He changed the typed text by inserting ‘BY HITCH-HIKING AND WALKING’ to clarify his journey. The original working version has been presented by Long to the Tate Gallery Archive.

This and the next three catalogue entries, which have been approved and edited by the artist, were prepared from a brief questionnaire annotated by him in June 1978.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1976-8: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1979