“Time and Space” at the Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts in Bristol is a major new solo exhibition celebrating Bristol-based artist Richard Long. Presented as part of the program celebrating Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, the exhibition comprises sculpture, drawing, photography, and text works that date from 1967 to the present day and includes several new works as well as recreations of previous works.
Phil Gibby, area director, South West, Arts Council England, said: “This unique show explores the artist’s relationship with the city as well as his connection to the landscape, encouraging audiences to meditate on their own place in the world and impact on the environment. A combination of integral early works and major new pieces, the exhibition is a great opportunity for people to connect and engage with great art that inspires us to think about the way we live.”
According to the Arnolfini, “Time and Space” looks particularly at the area where Long grew up and still lives as the start and end point for many of his early walks and text works. The exhibition focuses on the artist’s personal relationship to place and local materials, exploring how the ideas and language developed through his early career were key in the development of ideas that the artist now realizes across the world.
Long has said of his works: “They are a sort of simple celebration of the place, like its stones, or the horizon, or the mist, and of me being there, at that particular time, possibly never to pass that way again. I sometimes think of these works as songs. I have said that a sculpture can be as far as the eye can see, meaning the stones can be aligned to a feature on the horizon, for example, or a passing cloud, at that moment, in relation to the viewer.”
Highlights of the exhibition include the recreation of an early sculpture, “Ireland” (1967); new mud fingerprint drawings on driftwood; a selection of photo works and installed vinyl text works; as well as two new works: a large sculpture made from Cornish slate and a wall work made with mud collected from the River Avon. Long has also created a new work titled “Boyhood Line” (2015) on The Downs, Bristol, using pieces of white limestone to trace a 170-meter-long path near Ladies Mile.