Cairngorm Stones (2001)
About this artwork
Long’s signature practice involves taking solitary walks in uncultivated areas. He has embarked on walks as far afield as Nepal, Africa, Alaska and Bolivia. While travelling the artist sets himself specific tasks, such as walking a straight line for a predetermined distance; yet he never makes permanent alterations to the landscapes he passes through. Instead he adjusts nature’s placement of rocks or wood to form simple geometric shapes, such as this arrangement of stones on the slopes of Ben Macdui in the Cairngorm Mountains, in the Scottish Highlands. His photographs record these interventions made in the natural landscape and allows the work to be viewed out-with the landscape in which they were created.
- title: Cairngorm Stones
- accession number: AL00211
- artist: Richard LongEnglish (born 1945)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Photograph
- materials: Photograph with hand-written text
- date created: 2001
- measurements: Frame: 83.40 x 113.80 x 4.30 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Lent by Anthony d'Offay 2010
- copyright: © Richard Long.
Long was born in Bristol, where he still lives. His work is about walking and the direct experience of nature. He trained from 1966-68 at St Martin's School of Art in London, where several of his contemporaries were busy questioning traditional forms of art. From the mid-1960s, while still a student, he began making walks and photographed the trace he had made (the flattened grass, stones laid at regular intervals) or would simply mark the course of the walk on a map. Later, he began laying rocks or twigs in straight lines or circles. By the late 1970s he was reconstructing these works in interior settings, though the walk remained the basis for collecting the natural material. Long won the Turner prize in 1989.