Project: Land Art (Exercise 2.5)

The course author opens by explaining the conceptual approach to land art that began in the 1970’s. The aim is to convey the experience rather than providing a descriptive photograph of the place itself.


Chris Coekin

Liz Nichol

Ian Brown

Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, Hamish Fulton and Richard Long are also cited as being “champions of land art”.

(Under the category ‘further research’, I have placed a link to Tate Modern’s page explaining land art and have given examples by Richard Long, Hamish Fulton and others. Last year I went to a Richard Long exhibition in Bristol that I have documented under Context and Narrative.)

These links have been given to listen to: Last accessed 12/04/2016 Last accessed 12/04/2016


 1945 – Bristol – born. Exhibited since 1960’s

66 – 68. St Martins – analysis of process over the finished article.

 The curator introduces Long as having been one of the founders of a new type of art to emerge.

 At the time there wasn’t any edge or energy to art but a transition to a new discourse of art as idea, and art as an action emerged. Some of this discourse was about anti – form, minimalism, process art etc. – pushing boundaries. Critics branded Longs work in all these with all these titles 

 What evolved in Long’s work was a richness in conceptual structure. In 1964, aged 18 years old, Long was in Avon gorge when he rolled a snowball. Instead of photographing the snowman, he photographed the track to record the work.  This principle of landscape intervention with the landscape continued. 

 “Freed from discourse of scale of the time.”

 Walking became his medium. Long has travelled and walked extensively in the UK and globally on pre – determined routes to shore lines, riverbeds, mountain ranges.

His exhibitions make use of mud, photographs, sculptures, text etc. that reflects his love of nature and walking.

 He works in harmony with the environment. He uses raw materials picking up and placing objects and adjusting the landscapes slightly by ending stones for example. His art is simple and straightforward with circles, crosses, spirals etc. in his response to the landscape.

 Long’s art is a balance between the natural patterns of a place and forms within the environment. He uses symmetry, repetition and measurement.

 Throwing a stone. 2.5 day walk. He threw the stone and kept throwing it. (Can’t find this project online). “Abstract within real spaces of the environment.” Language and ambition of art were due for renewal.

Recording time and space, the landscape became the art work. Not a land artist – dematerialise, minimalist artist. 

 Turf circle. 

 Photography to document work away from the studio and were rough.  The photograph isn’t the work itself. Later this changed when he realised that a photograph could be the art object itself. 

Exercise 2.5

I have already begun to explore using text with photography, partly in response to Richard Long’s exhibition that I saw last year – hence my response to assignment 1.

This exercise gives me opportunity to further explore text within art.

Part A.

The first part of the exercise is to note twelve observations on a walk.

My dog walk.


Crisp air and blue sky

Sun hangs low – blinding.

Startled by a commotion behind me;

A sparrow hawk swoops down and has a starling in his talons.

 Woodpecker echoes through the valley.

 Shotgun warns off a murder of crows.

 Murder flocks to safety.

 Hawthorne blossom emerging.

 Daffodils just past their best.

 Crisp spring morning numb my nose. 

 Concerto completed with nesting birds and bleating lambs.

 The village is still but is awkening.

 Land Rover backfiring. 

 Tractor starting up in distance.

 School bus rumbles in – air bakes applied.

 Blue sky.

 Hazy horizon.

 Green shoots growing in field.

I now realise that these observations form the skeleton of a poem.

Part B.

The next part of the course suggest that the artists featured in the links below are considered as we reflect on how we could incorporate text into our work.

Because I have given this a lot of thought and consideration through Context and Narrative and into assignment 1 of this module, I’m not going to spend long on this. All I will say is I am aware of Barthes theories and how text is used to anchor work and act in relay. The incorporation of text within photographs (as shown in the links below) doesn’t really appeal and I am much more in line with Richard Longs approach of using text alongside photographs as poetry, Haiku etc. in wider installations or books (in my case).

The only exception t this would be is if text formed part of the environment such as in Mark Titchner’s case where signage is a major part of his work.

There might come a point where I find that I want to overlay text on to photographs but at the moment I am not inclined to. Last accessed 12/04/2016 Last accessed 12/04/2016 Last accessed 12/04/2016

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