One of a generation of British artists who redefined traditional approaches to sculpture during the 1960s, Long is associated with the development of land art. He has created environmental sculptures as a result of long, rural walks in many parts of the world. Along with producing installations of natural materials in their original environments, which are later presented as photographs, Long collects materials to form sculptures within a gallery and produces written texts, maps or drawings as remnants of his experiences. He participated in a Kaldor Public Art Project in 1977, which included making site-specific works for the Art Gallery of NSW.
Spring showers circle 1992
Long has said, ‘I like simple, practical, emotional, quiet, vigorous art. I like the simplicity of walking, the simplicity of stones.’ This artwork, like several others by Long, is essentially an abstract arrangement of unworked rock. The stones seem to speak of the age of the landscape from which they emerged.
View Spring showers circle in the collection
Southern gravity 2011
This work was commissioned by John Kaldor for a specific wall in the new contemporary galleries. Long’s mud drawings relate to water poured over rock shelves during his walks. Like his stone works, this piece is built on a pure geometric shape but wet mud is applied with an intensely energetic movement that is like a ritual dance, leaving a striking trace of his hand gestures on the wall. The watery mud, splashes, drips and sprays not only express the speed of execution but also demonstrate the effect of gravity.
View Southern gravity in the collection