Friday, 10 July 2009

Richard Long: Heaven & Earth at Tate Britain

I went to see the Richard Long exhibition 'Heaven & Earth' at Tate Britain on Wednesday. I was really glad I went as I found it really interesting to see his work 'in the flesh' having read about it in books for so long. I especially enjoyed the 'mud works' because of the primitive, hands-on approach to making a mark. I think there is something really interesting about this personal relationship between material and making and this was so evident in these works.

I am fascinated by Long's use of walking as sculpture, and I feel quite in tune with this methodology.  However I was less excited by the photographs that document the works created during the walks. Somehow they seemed less personal, even a little bit cold.  I enjoyed the text works and also Long's own word used as commentary throughout the exhibition. It was fascinating to gain a more thorough insight into his working process and ideas. I feel that understanding the artist is a really important part of art.

I also went to see the Rothko room for the first time. I have no idea why I have never been to look at these works before but I was prompted to seek them out by reading an article about experiencing art. I was quite overwhelmed by the emotional and physical response I had to the work, in fact I nearly fell over at one point. This has made me realise that art really does have the power to influence peoples feelings in a very real way. I really want to engage my emotions more fully in my own work and find ways to create work that is an experience rather than just an object.

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