Inspiration: Richard Long & Pamela Rawnsley

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Last week I attended the first of what will, hopefully, be many lectures in the memory of Pamela Rawnsley, an inspirational jeweller and silversmith who died last year.

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Vessels by Pamela Rawnsley

 

She was very much driven by her love of the landscape, something that comes through very clearly in her work and for that reason when the Contemporary British SIlversmiths association organised the lecture they asked a favourite influence of hers, artist Richard Long, to speak.

The first piece of his work that I ever saw was probably his most iconic:

Richard Long, A Line Made by Walking, 1967
Richard Long, A Line Made by Walking, 1967

A Line Made by Walking. Simple, utterly effective and a distinctly human thing on the landscape.

It seems to be the thing that’s gone on to influence many of his other pieces, over and over, through the years. He said at the talk that ‘replicating his walking and his line making [over time] has formed a point of view‘. His endless walking and making and leaving of lines has come to define him, to build the work of his life. Apparently it didn’t seem like much at the time, just a sculpture that was made, like so many others, while he was out walking, but returning to the essence of it so many times over the years has given it deep significance.

Richard Long, A Line in Bolivia, 1981
Richard Long, A Line in Bolivia, 1981
Richard Long Road Stone Line, China, 2010
Richard Long Road Stone Line, China, 2010

Alongside lines he builds circles:

Richard Long A Circle in Antarctica
Richard Long A Circle in Antarctica

both starkly (like this white one in Antarctica) and in beautifully subtle ways like these circles in South America:

Richard Long ACONCAGUA CIRCLE Argentina, 2012
Richard Long ACONCAGUA CIRCLE Argentina, 2012
Richard Long, A Circle in the Andes, 1972
Richard Long, A Circle in the Andes, 1972

These are probably the ones that I like best, because they dare you to believe that they occurred naturally and make you re-evaluate the landscape that you’re seeing and your place in it.

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