Richard Long: Boyhood Line

Date 20.06.15 – 15.11.15

Time Public work on the downs, open daily

Location Ladies Mile on Bristol Downs. A map is available at with directions


As part of Richard Long’s major new solo exhibition at Arnolfini, the artist will make a new work on The Downs in Clifton.


Boyhood Line is a 170 metre-long line in the landscape, made from pieces of white limestone. It will trace a footpath close to Ladies Mile that has been made over time by people walking across the Downs, instinctively following the same unmarked route, establishing a natural, instinctive path through the grass.

The Downs are of particular significance to the artist, who was born in Bristol and has lived locally since 1945. Many key early works have been made in the area and he continues to use local materials, such as mud from the River Avon, in works which are now realised across the world.

The commission has been made possible with the support of Simplyhealth.

Richard Long

Richard Long was born in Bristol, UK in 1945, where he continues to live and work. He studied at West of England College of Art, Bristol (1962–65), then St Martin’s School of Art, London (1966–68). In 1969, Long was included in a seminal exhibition of Minimalist and Conceptual works entitled When Attitude Becomes Form at the Kunsthalle Bern for which he made a walk in the Alps that was documented by his first text work. After 1969, Long began making journeys and sculptures in wilderness places all around the world, documenting his walks with photographs, maps, and text works. In the 1980s, Long began making new types of mud works using handprints applied directly to the wall. He also continued to make large sculptures of lines and circles from slate, driftwood, footprints or stone, often sourced from quarries near the exhibition sites.

Major solo exhibitions include Faena Arts Centre, Buenos Aires, (2014), Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2010), Tate Britain, London (2009), Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2007), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006), National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto (1996), Hayward Gallery (1991), Tate Britain (1990) and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1986). He represented Britain at the 37th Venice Biennale (1976) and won the Turner Prize in 1989 after being shortlisted four times. He received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture (1990), has been elected to the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2001), was awarded Japan’s Praemium Imperiale in the field of sculpture (2009) and was made a CBE in 2013.

Steven Claydon’s work brings together objects recalling historical artefacts, cultural ephemera and geological samples, skillfully mixing different cultures and periods of history. Merging reality with fiction, and appearing at once meaningful and useless, Claydon’s works oscillate between an idea of truth and fantasy, seeming to offer a fragmented image of a future civilisation’s past. He will talk about his practice and new commission in Bristol.