Willow Sticks (1980)
About this artwork
Lines and circles are the two shapes which recur in Richard Long's art. Although his work is based around walks made all over the world, Long also brings nature into the gallery by making sculptures using natural materials. In a world which is becoming increasingly urbanised and detached from nature, he makes the viewer aware of nature and its importance in our lives. Set out like a path, this fifteen metre-long line of willow sticks reflects the journey taken by the artist to collect the wood and design the sculpture. Unlike his sculptures made with stone, the space between the sticks gives this work a light, airy quality.
- title: Willow Sticks
- accession number: AR00615
- artist: Richard LongEnglish (born 1945)
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Sculpture
- date created: 1980
- measurements: Approx: 502.90 x 152.40 cm
- credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
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.