Houghton Hall, the mag­nif­i­cent mid-Nor­folk man­sion built to show­case some of the world’s great­est paint­ings and now sur­rounded with the work of renowned con­tem­po­rary sculp­tors, hosts an­other land­mark ex­hi­bi­tion this sum­mer

EDP Norfolk - - Places -

BLACK­ENED TREE stumps for­aged from es­tate wood­land and the gin­ger­bread carr­stone and glint-grey flints of West Nor­folk are be­ing shaped into works of art by in­ter­na­tion­ally cel­e­brated land­scape sculp­tor Richard Long.

In the gar­dens and park­land sur­round­ing Houghton Hall, west of Fak­en­ham, lines of stone stretch across the land­scape, sculp­ture emerges from fallen trees and mud is pat­terned be­hind pil­lars out­side the Palladian man­sion.

The ma­jor new ex­hi­bi­tion by the Turner Prize-winning artist is the lat­est in a se­ries of high pro­file arts events at Houghton Hall.

Richard Long be­gan cre­at­ing art from, and in, the land­scape as a stu­dent in the 1960s, and has been work­ing with stone, wood and mud ever since, with solo shows around the world.

He started trans­form­ing jour­neys into

works of art with A Line Made By Walk­ing - a pho­to­graph of a strip of grass through a field, flat­tened by the tread of his feet. He went on to make art from stones be­side roads and in river beds, ar­ranged moor­land boul­ders into cir­cles and traced lines along sea­side sand. One work was a line of 33 stones, a sin­gle stone placed each day, along a walk from the south­ern­most to the north­ern­most point of main­land Bri­tain.

Oth­ers are made with the vis­cous ti­dal river mud he has loved from child­hood. His ma­te­ri­als are of­ten sourced from close to his ex­hi­bi­tion sites and the spe­cially com­mis­sioned new works at Houghton will be­come Richard’s largest show since a ret­ro­spec­tive at the Tate in 2009, and the first to present a se­ries of his out­door works in the land­scape for which they were made.

As well as the three new sculp­tures in the gar­dens and park­land there will be large works, cre­ated from mud, in Houghton’s out­door colon­nades and smaller works and ma­te­rial about Richard’s ca­reer on show in gallery spa­ces, plus a sculp­ture in Cor­nish slate and Nor­folk flint in the man­sion’s mag­nif­i­cent Stone Hall.

The Mar­quess of Chol­monde­ley, of Houghton Hall, com­mis­sioned Richard’s cir­cu­lar slate sculp­ture Full Moon Cir­cle in 2003. It be­came part of an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of con­tem­po­rary art in the grounds of the man­sion, in­clud­ing James Tur­rell’s

Skys­pace, Jeppe Hein’s re­mark­able fire and

foun­tain Water­flame and Rachel Whiteread’s Houghton Hut.

Lord Chol­monde­ley said: “The pu­rity and sim­plic­ity of his vi­sion seem the per­fect counterpoi­nt to this clas­si­cal 18th cen­tury land­scape – his time­less forms hark­ing back to the ear­lier civ­i­liza­tions that once in­hab­ited this part of Nor­folk.

“I am de­lighted that such an im­por­tant ex­hi­bi­tion of Richard Long’s work will be pre­sented at Houghton in­clud­ing many new works. My hope is that in time Houghton will be­come a ‘must-see’ des­ti­na­tion for those in­ter­ested in con­tem­po­rary art and sculp­ture.”

This lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion fol­lows the hugely suc­cess­ful Houghton Re­vis­ited in 2013, when paint­ings once bought for Houghton Hall by Bri­tain’s first Prime Min­is­ter Sir Robert Walpole were re­turned from the St Peters­burg Her­mitage mu­seum to their orig­i­nal sur­round­ings. Two years later LightS­cape, an ex­hi­bi­tion of dy­namic light­works by con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can artist James Tur­rell, lit up the hall and grounds.

Top: Full Moon Cir­cle by Richard Long, at Houghton Hall Above: Richard Long’s sculp­ture cre­ated with 16 tree stumps from the Houghton es­tate Bot­tom left: One of Richard Long’s new sculp­tures at Houghton Hall

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