ARTIST ROOMS: Richard Long Opening

Jointly owned by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland, ARTIST ROOMS is a collection of artwork from 40 internationally renowned artists. The collection has been made accessible to audiences through exhibitions and partnerships with galleries and museums, across the United Kingdom.

And Gallery Oldham has been one of the lucky Galleries to feature the internationally renowned artist and recently knighted Sir Richard Long.

Born in Bristol 1945, Richard went on to studying at University, aged 19. It was during this period he began to notice the physical impact his sculptures were making to the earth’s landscape. Richard’s early sculptures were made in and around Bristol. Here he noticed that as he walked though grass it left a track and it was this shape of the track that became the sculpture. Richard continued experimenting and developing work made from natural materials, he photographed many pieces of his artwork in the knowledge that artwork created by nature would at some point disappear and succumb to nature itself.

 

On display at Gallery Oldham is A Line Made by Walking 1967, it is the first photograph of Long’s artwork made by the movement of his feet through a field of grass. Cornish Slate Ellipse 2009 is also featured within the exhibit; it is a large room-sized installation of cut slate laid in irregular intervals. This large contemporary artwork highlights the differences between the natural and unnatural world. The shapes of the stone, the twist and turns, the rough edges and smoothness of the stone, are a thought provoking display of natural methods and techniques.

As part of the opening of the Richard Long exhibition, I was asked to do a workshop influenced by the Richard Long exhibition. Of course over the moon, I jumped at this opportunity. I’ve always been interested in nature and the environment from a very early age. Throughout my 20’s, I’ve explored environmental art and its beginnings. Where ever I am I try to meditate and be at one with nature. I am deeply passionate about the environment. I volunteer with the RSPB to learn more about birds, insects and wildlife. You will often see my reading books about plants and trees. But most importantly the one thing I am most passionate about is passing this knowledge on to others. So, I’ve developed art workshops to incorporate nature into learning and art.

For my Natural Weaving Workshop I used colourful flowers, leaves, wood and wool, to create a frame of nature, wild flowers weaved easily between the sticks and wool to create a contemporary frame of natural beauty. My aim was to create work that encouraged those who took part, to experience the beauty of their surroundings and to look at the environment in creative ways. For me art is happiest when deeply nested in community action. And the more I see of the Richard Long exhibition the more it moves me into action, to try a leave this beautiful planet in a better way than when we found it.

The ARTIST ROOMS: Richard Long exhibition is on display until 16 September. Be sure to check out the other fantastic events inspired by the exhibition by checking our What’s On page