richard long and the mud


Although he insists that there is nothing metaphorical or symbolic in what he does, Long drops hints as to how he wants us to experience his work. For example, he has mentioned that the mud he likes to use is tidal – that is, mud made by the movement of water over stones due to the attraction of the moon, over centuries. I don’t think this is essential to viewing the work, but for me it adds to its poetic resonance.

Then, too, Long’s titles often tell us the exact source of the mud he uses in a work, and this specificity becomes part of how we experience it. And so in the pieces made of mud from the Firth of Forth, Long wants you to know that he arrived in Edinburgh empty-handed, and made art out of local materials.

Richard Long has become the Ol’ Man River of British art. He just keeps on rolling along, using utterly simple materials and methods to make a seemingly endless stream of art works that feel eternal and yet change constantly, like nature itself.

more from The Telegraph here.