Richard Long: Heaven and Earth, room guide: room 7

Richard Long A Circle in Scotland 1986 photograph of the landscape with a stone circle made of white stones

Richard Long
A Circle in Scotland 1986

© Richard Long

Walking has enabled me to extend the boundaries of sculpture, which can now be deconstructed in the space and time of walking relatively long distances. Over the years my landscape sculptures have explored some of the variables of accessibility, solitude, isolation, permanence, visibility or recognition. I have used stones as markers of time or distance; they may be parts of a huge yet anonymous work. Stones can be added, moved, dispersed, exchanged or carried to make a work. My stones are like grains of sand in the space of the landscape and I can find them almost anywhere.

My work is about movement and stillness, the walking and the stopping places. Sometimes I make a sculpture when I stop to rest. I suppose my art covers a wide range, from works like these which could be practically unnoticeable or disappear in minutes, like a water drawing or dusty footprints, to a long-lasting work in a museum. The world is full of relatively permanent things like rock strata or the sea, but also transient things, like the life span of a butterfly, or the endlessly changing patterns of seaweed on a beach. I would like to think my work reflects and uses this rich complexity and reality.