Exhibition of work by major British land artist Sir Richard Long comes to Devon and launches Culture and Climate programme

Authored by News Desk
Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 19:00

The relationship between man and the natural world will be explored in an exhibition by internationally acclaimed British artist Richard Long. ARTIST ROOMS Richard Long - Being in the Moment will open at the Thelma Hulbert in Honiton, East Devon on February 22 and run until May 23, 2020.

Drawing from the ARTIST ROOMS collection, the exhibition presents works spanning 40 years of Long’s artistic practice, starting with his early experiments near his home town of Bristol. There will be 21 works on show, presenting the full breadth of Long’s practice, including photography, sculpture, text, drawings, maps and diagrams.

The exhibition launches Culture and Climate 2020 a programme of exhibitions, symposiums and events that are set against the context of Thelma Hulbert and East Devon District Council’s commitment to Devon’s Climate Change Emergency declaration, and the University of Exeter’s declaration of an environment and climate emergency. Delivered through a new partnership with the University of Exeter and East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, audiences will be invited to participate in a range of activities taking place at the University, Thelma Hulbert Gallery and diverse locations across East Devon.

The exhibition takes its title from the work Being in the Moment (1999). This portfolio of four photographs will be shown for the first time as part of the ARTIST ROOMS programme. The work illustrates not only the continuity in Long’s methods and practice but also his deep affinity with landscapes across the world by representing some of his epic walks across Britain, Tanzania and Ecuador over a thirty year period.

For more than 50 years, Long has been at the forefront of conceptual art working beyond the confines of traditional material and questioning how we view the relationship between landscapes and art. His investigations into nature, using mediums such as walking, and working with found materials such as mud, earth and slate, remain as relevant today as they ever were.

Long has a particular empathy with the south-west where he is from, with Devon in particular proving a constant source of inspiration. A Hundred Mile Walk (1971-2), included in the exhibition, records a walk Long made on Dartmoor during New Year 1971–2, repeatedly following a circular route, documenting sounds both heard and remembered.

Long’s approach to his artistic practice is very much about the relationship between people and nature, from collecting mud from his local River Avon and Delabole slate from Cornwall, to the way the work is made, positioning stone using his hands or making gestures with his feet. He explains ‘you could say that my work is ... a balance between the patterns of nature and the formalism of human, abstract ideas like lines and circles. It is where my human characteristics meet the natural forces and patterns of the world, and that is really the kind of subject of my work’ (quoted in Richard Long: Walking in Circles, p.250).

Richard Long - Being in the Moment, draws from ARTIST ROOMS, a touring collection of over 1,600 works of modern and contemporary art by more than 42 major international artists. The collection is owned by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate and displayed across the UK through a touring programme of solo exhibitions, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Art Fund and by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

Ruth Gooding, Manager/Curator, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, says,  “How we want to share our habitat and its resources, now and in the future, is the central question of our Culture and Climate 2020 programme. This exhibition is an invitation to rethink the relationship between art and the rural and how we connect to and understand space. Thelma Hulbert Gallery is uniquely situated, nestled between two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and only 9 miles from the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. Walking is a very popular pursuit in the area and we hope this exhibition will inspire audiences to rethink walking as not just a journey from a to b, but as an art form in itself.”

Events throughout the year will include:

  • ARTIST ROOMS: Richard Long - Being in the Moment. Private View Saturday 22 February 3 - 5pm
  • Art and Nature, Curator’s talk, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, 28 February 6 - 8 pm
  • Workshops : a series of workshops at THG led by curator and producer Tessa Fitzjohn, incl. talk, gallery tour, discussion and practical activities exploring Richard Long’s work.
    • Sand, Snow, Mud, Stone and Chalk, 10 March, 2-4pm
    • Take a Line, 24 March, 2-4pm
    • Staying and Passing, 21 April, 2-4pm
    • From one place to another, 5 May, 10am–12pm
  • University of Exeter presents Creative Dialogues with Richard Long, 13 May 2020 at the Beehive, Honiton’s community arts venue, following a guided tour of Being in the Moment by Curators at Thelma Hulbert Gallery.

Join us to meet Richard Long, a pioneer of land art. Creative Dialogues is an ‘in-conversation’ event that is part of the Arts and Culture University of Exeter public programme, offering the audience a rare opportunity to join internationally renowned professionals in person and learn first-hand about their inspirational careers and life works.

  • Culture + Climate Symposium, June 18 & 19 (optional camping at School of Art & Wellbeing on June 17) A two day series of field trips across East Devon including Exmouth, Seaton and THG. Speakers include environmentalists, artists and thinkers including Simon Terrill, Mike Perry and Fourthland.
  • The Exchange Symposium: strengthening research through collaboration, RAMM, Queen St, Exeter - 7 July, full day event

Visit artsandcultureexeter.co.uk for details and booking

For more information and how to book email info@thelmahulbert.com

Public engagement programme delivered in partnership with University of Exeter, generously supported by East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and The ARTIST ROOMS touring programme, delivered by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate in a partnership with Ferens Art Gallery through 2020, supported using public funding through the National Lottery through Arts Council England, by Art Fund and by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.

Full details of the public engagement programme to be released in January 2020


Photo:  Richard Long Southbank Circle 1991. Presented by Janet Wolfson de Botton 1996. © Richard Long, DACS 2019. Photo © Tate


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