top of page

Concise, Precise Perhaps? part 2

In this blog I will hopefully follow on from where I left off /on the other post (Concise, Precise Perhaps? part 1). Although it does not necessarily need to be read after it predecessor.

Emotive language and memory attachable phrases.

One of my favourite artists is the British artist Richard Long, for many years his work has inspired me and has influenced me in the creation of my artworks.

I would like to particularly mention his "prose" or "written art pieces". These were mainly created during his various journeys, usually in wild places. His artworks are his natural responses to his environment (the ‘real’ experience). The emotive power these works create are keys to a hidden or a neglected state of mind. For example he would write down what he saw every hour on a trek across a rocky desert in Boliva. The words then become a narrative, they also become signposts and portals into the artist's state of mind and environment. They help the viewer to imagine themselves in the situation or even a similar self experienced situation. In short we are taken on a thought provoking journey, just by reading a few words that are to a degree, randomly selected.

Walking with the rivers roar

Great Himalayan time

A line of moments

My father

Starlit snow

Human time

Frozen boots

Breaking trail

The circles of a great bird

Countless stones

Happy alert balanced

Paths of shared footmarks

Atomic silence

Sleeping by the rivers roar.

(1983. Himalayas.) (Richard Long)

The viewer is involved in the reading of the text, concentrating on its translation into visuals to enable their understanding, a thing that we all do naturally and the viewer is compelled to finish the reading. The images created in this way differ from one reader to the next, drawing upon their own experiences, involved, rather than passively viewing.

We are almost travelling there with him, feeling the spray of the river as we walk along the path. As we continue along the path, or rather, as it turns out, we read along the passage we are enthralled by the place, realising our position in relation to the surroundings, humbled in the outdoors. The words range from the direct physical, easy association such as "frozen boots". To an almost Zen like "a line of moments" which seems to have a deep philosophical meaning. A beautiful image is pictured with "the circling of a great bird". Long may have chosen the words specifically for their weight or he just described simply what he saw or thought about at that time, it does not matter, it is just the pure simplicity and the beauty of the piece that for me makes it special.

The line "happy alert balanced" seems to sum up the mood and the state of mind in which the art was created. A peace coming from the unconscious, natural state of being created by a person who is a passive element in all this. His surroundings instruct him, this is why his art holds such stillness and a focus. A distinct contrast to our modern-day society with its constant movement and its lack of regard for the natural.


Tummy- Drum- Shadow

(what3words location)

old title: Zen Jetty

photograph (enhanced)

by Jonathan Oakes

see more like this

There is so much more to write on the subject of Concise, Precise Perhaps? I feel that I would be going on too much if I continued on this particular post.

Guess what the next instalment will be called?

That's right: Concise, Precise perhaps or perhaps not? part 3

I will post it in a few days time. Thanks for your understanding. Take care until next time.

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page