Richard Long: Heaven and Earth – Tate Britain, 31 August 2009

Richard Long: Heaven and Earth, Tate Britain

“Awe-inspiring retrospective.”

The Richard Long: Heaven and Earth exhibition at Tate Britain came with glorified reviews; the kind of reviews which makes you wonder whether the whole thing has been over-hyped.

But this is good. I came out rejuvenated, scribbling away in my notebook, properly inspired.

Richard Long has such a different take on art and the world. It’s all about him and his interaction with the world, and yet, he doesn’t come across as self-centred.

My work is about movement and stillness, the walking and the stopping places. Sometimes I make a scuplture when I stop to rest.” (copyright Richard Long)

Interfering with nature. Creating meaningless temporary art. These are but a few comments which could be made about Richard Long‘s work… but aren’t we all impacting on nature? As these things go, his is pretty low key, I’d say.

To walk across a country from coast to coast, for example, is both a measure of the land itself – its size, shape and terrain – and also of myself, how long it takes me and not somebody else.” (copyright Richard Long)

The walks are captured in words or by concepts. A walk over many days is recorded as one sound heard each day. A walk lasts until he spots a cloud. A walk is a song a day.

My work really is just about being a human being living on this planet and using nature as its source.” (copyright Richard Long)

This is all very refreshing at a time when people can’t attend gigs for example, without videoing the event or taking photos to prove you were there it seems.

I suppose my art covers a wide range, from work 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.”(copyright Richard Long)

I’m converted. I did suspect I would like his work, after coming across him in Bristol recently. How long it will last I don’t know, but I find myself viewing things differently and a good week on, I’m still noting ideas in my notebook.

How come he is still (relatively) so little known in Britain? The man won the Turner Prize after all!

One of the critics (Time Out I think) said that Richard Long was a national treasure. Quite true. This man needs to be preserved. This man needs to keep walking.

About admin

I'm an inquisitive being. Everything is an adventure: art, architecture, colours, food, patterns, people... and travel! And I love elephants. That's what I mostly write about.
This entry was posted in Art & Exhibitions, London. Bookmark the permalink.