Quay Arts have just opened a major Spring / Summer solo exhibition by
Turner Prize winner and Britain’s leading artist of the landscape, Richard Long.
At the opening, that saw over 200 people in attendance, there were speeches
by Quay Arts’Chair of Trustees Terence Hart, Participation Manager Jacqui Cusack
and Visual Arts Manager Georgia Newman.
This opening event closed with a fascinating discussion into Long’s working
processes and influences with writer and curator Les Buckingham.
Long is an artist who embarks on long distance walks to create his work. Therefore an exhibition of his work couldn’t be more perfectly placed on this ‘Garden Isle’ which has played host to some of the largest walking festivals in Europe. The Island has long been a source of inspiration to visitors, including Long, with his 1982 text‐work created in vinyl, titled ‘The Isle of Wight as Six Walks’ from which this exhibition takes it name.
This large text‐work on display and covers six distances, alternately north to south and south to north, and precisely portrays the physical shape of the Island as it lies in the sea.
Accompanying this work is one of Long’s signature pieces made in the gallery – a bespoke ‘wall drawing’ by Long himself, using local mud from the River Medina. Constructed through a series of marks by the artist’s hand with found, natural material, it explores visibility and impermanence, which lies at the heart of Long’s practice.
Other works on display include photographic and text pieces as well as a monumental floor installation made from flint, all on loan from the Southampton City Art Gallery’s collection. They present a variety of locations, including England, Wales, Africa, Nepal and Bolivia and span over four decades, offering a glimpse into Long’s vast artistic career.
In 1989 Long was awarded the Turner Prize for his contribution to British Art and has since been involved in a plethora of solo and group shows world‐wide. He remains one of the foremost practitioners of Land Art, art concerned with action within the landscape and its human geography, art that questions the definition of art as a revered, permanent and valuable object.
Other exhibitions in response to ‘Six Walks’ are being held at the various galleries of Quay
Arts during the Spring and Summer.