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Windmill Hill to Coalbrookdale, 1979

Windmill Hill to Coalbrookdale, 1979

Photographs and text (diptych)
Courtesy the Artist and Southampton City Art Gallery

Windmill Hill to Coalbrookdale is a word-and-photograph piece documenting Richard Long's walk from the site of one of England's earliest known human interventions in the landscape - a small, dimpled, circular protuberance that is a Neolithic causeway enclosure - to the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. It links two revolutions - the Neolithic and the Industrial - and highlights at the same time the inherent fragility of all human endeavor and the depth of human invention.

Richard Long

Richard Long has been in the vanguard of conceptual and land art in Britain since he created A Line Made by Walking in 1967, while still a student. From that time he expanded his walks to wilderness regions all over the world. He mediates his experience of these places, from mountains through to deserts, shorelines, grasslands, rivers and snowscapes, according to archetypal geometric marks and shapes, made by his footsteps alone or gathered from the materials of the place.

These walks and temporary works of passage are recorded with photographs, maps and text works, where measurements of time and distance, place names and phenomena are vocabulary for both original ideas and powerful, condensed narratives. He stresses that the meaning of his work lies in the visibility of his actions rather than in the representation of a particular landscape.

Richard Long was born in Bristol, UK in 1945, where he continues to live and work. He studied at West of England College of Art, Bristol (1962-65), then St Martin's School of Art, London (1966-68). In 1969, Long was included in a seminal exhibition of Minimalist and Conceptual works entitled When Attitude Becomes Form at the Kunsthalle Bern for which he made a walk in the Alps that was documented by his first text work. Major solo exhibitions include Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2010); Tate Britain, London (2009); Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2007); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006); National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (1996); Philadelphia Museum of Art (1994) and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1986). Long represented Britain at the 37th Venice Biennale (1976) and won the Turner Prize in 1989.