Lessons from an exhibition

The Arnolfini is currently showing a new exhibition by Turner Prize winning artist Richard Long, (http://www.arnolfini.org.uk/whatson/richard-long-time-and-space) focusing on ‘the artist’s personal relationship to place and local materials, in particular those of Bristol and the South West’ and I’d been waiting patiently for my son to return from Cambodia to visit. As Joe had written about Long’s A Line Made By Walking as part of his MA thesis I knew he’d make an excellent guide, and we were finally able to go last week.

It’s quite an awe-inspiring body of work, including photography, drawings, writings and sculptures recreated in the gallery. There’s also a sculpture/installation off-site on The Downs, which we have yet to visit. The main subject of Long’s work is landscape, and in particular walking as a way of perceiving and recording the landscape. Some of the walks he’s taken are presented on the walls of the gallery, and they make an impressive record of his pilgrimages.

I found the exhibition quite inspiring. At times I’ve struggled with belief in my writing, and certainly struggle with attaining the discipline needed to sit down every day and just write – probably like most writers. This exhibition has proved to me what can be achieved with belief and commitment to writing/creating/walking every day, not just waiting for inspiration to grab hold.

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