Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Contemporary Art in the Countryside ARTIST ROOMS On Tour Richard Long at the Burton Art Gallery and Museum

The Burton Art Gallery and Museum is proud to present a public exhibition of works by the celebrated land artist Richard Long, as part of ARTIST ROOMS On Tour. In a career that now spans nearly 50 years, Richard Long, has tested the boundaries of art by creating a substantial and varied collection of work in which he has taken nature as his subject but also as the source of his materials. Credited with being closely associated with the emergence of a new art form, Land Art, Long won the Turner Prize in 1989 and is one of Britain’s most significant artists, living and working in his beloved West Country. Richard Long’s work is deep rooted in his affinity with nature, developed often during walks around the British countryside. Walking repetitively in a line, making a circle of pebbles, arranging sticks in their hundreds, using mud as paint and piling up stones are just some of the many ways in which Richard Long has interacted with the landscape. He was amongst a new generation of British artists who wanted to extend the possibilities of sculpture beyond the confines of traditional artists materials and he began to use natural materials such as clay, pine needles, driftwood, slate, mud and stones in his work. Long is renowned for documenting the experience of his walks with photographs, maps, wall drawings and printed statements, revealing patterns and observations with beauty, creativity and inspiration. As a student in 1967, Long completed ‘A Line Made By Walking’ – a photograph of a field edged by a wood showing a narrow strip of grass, flattened by the action of him repeatedly walking it. Richard Long has stated “I have the most profound feelings when I am walking, or touching natural materials in natural places.” Paradoxically he states that his work is a portrait of himself in the world, his personal journey through it and the materials he finds along the way. 
‘A Line Made by Walking’ is alongside other pieces in the exhibition which have a relationship to the South West; ‘Cornish Slate Ellipse’, 2009, and ‘Three Moors’ are included within this exhibition. The works on display at the Burton Art Gallery and Museum are taken from ARTIST ROOMS, an inspirational collection of modern and contemporary art acquired for the nation by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland through the generosity of Anthony d'Offay with additional support from funders, including the Art Fund. The ARTIST ROOMS tour programme, now in its sixth year, is showing at 18 museums and galleries across the UK in 2014. The tour is made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England and the Art Fund.
Warren Collum, Exhibitions and Collections Officer at the Burton Art Gallery and Museum said, “Right from the beginning of being involved with the ARTIST ROOMS programme, one of the artists I had in mind for The Burton was Richard Long. Many of the works in this exhibition have a direct connection to the South West environment. In particular, the works ‘Cut Slate Ellipse’ and ‘Three Moors’ will resonate strongly with our audiences encouraging them to connect with the materials that make up our environment, but in a totally different context – the gallery space.” Miranda Clarke, Visual Arts Manager at The Burton said, “We are delighted to be an associate partner as part of ARTIST ROOMS. This is a significant moment in the Burton’s 60+ year history, bringing the Richard Long exhibition to The Burton supports the original remit as set out by Hubert Coop and Thomas Burton, the founders of The Burton, in 1951. Recently on a visit to Tate Modern, travelling up the main escalators I glimpsed the 12foot high map of the UK, which shows where all the ARTIST ROOMS venues are this year. It was incredible to see ‘The Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Bideford’ pinpointed. It made me proud of Bideford and of The Burton.” Richard Long’s work is a celebration of wild places that often lie hidden, just off the beaten track. He is an artist who has had a lifetime of joyful exploration and simple pleasures, exploring the relation of man and nature, expressing, in new ways, the beauty and fragility of this relationship.
http://www.burtonartgallery.co.uk/index.php/exhibitions/2431#.VDP7URawWV0
A breakfast preview on Friday 3rd October was  hosted by the The High Sheriff of Devon, The Hon. John Rous. A second preview on Saturday 4th October was opened by the Visual Arts Manager at the Burton, Miranda Clarke with speeches from the Learning and Digital Manager, ARTIST ROOMS at Tate and National Galleries of Scotland, Christopher Ganley and Richard Long himself. Friends & supporters of the Burton, along with local business people, teachers & artists, press and bloggers attended both events.
 Photos copyright Lucy Goaman (All rights reserved)

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Contemporary Art in the Countryside ARTIST ROOMS On Tour Richard Long 
4th October 2014 – 10th January 2015
THE BURTON ART GALLERY & MUSEUM, 
Kingsley Road, Bideford EX39 2QQ 
(e) burtonartgallery@torridge.gov.uk (t) 01237 471455
 (w) www.burtonartgallery.co.uk 
Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10am - 4pm. Sunday 11am - 4pm.
The Burton Art Gallery also hosts regular art activities for children and teenagers, allowing them the opportunity to discover their creative side and get artistically active themselves. 
Visit www.burtonartgallery.co.uk for further details.  
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To find out more information about ARTIST ROOMS On Tour please visit www.artfund.org/artistrooms
 To see the full ARTIST ROOMS collection please visit www.tate.org.uk/artistrooms and www.nationalgalleries.org/artistrooms

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