Southampton City Art Gallery

Visual Arts Archive

Southampton, the South Coast & London 1985 - 1989

Richard Long Wessex Flint Line

Richard Long is on the shortlist for the annual Turner prize, which is for outstanding contribution to British art. For years he has aroused great interest in Southampton City Art Gallery with a sculpture of a plain circle of stones.

The Gallery has commissioned a new work from him which is now on display, offering a chance to explore your own responses in advance of Critical Opinion. The piece is site specific meaning that it was organised to fit a particular space in the Gallery. The artist countered the curves in the rotunda there with a very straight work.

With his Interest in landscape Richard Long has created fields of stone across the world, photographing stone circles in the Andes for instance, or making and marking paths across terrain as varied as the Himalayas and the south of England.

If that sounds conceptual this new piece is very physical. It is a path, 40ft long and 5ft wide, made of flints from Basingstoke laid densely on the floor. They vary naturally in size and shape and have a brilliant, washed, chalky whiteness. It is called Wessex Flint Line and stunned me with its scale and richness.

© Andrew Hughes. Page set up May 2013 & last modified 1 October 2017

the Wessex Flint Line installed in Southampton City Art Gallery

Gill Hedley, then Keeper of Art, walking across the Wessex Flint Line in Southampton City Art Gallery