architecture garden design garden photography gardens open to the public Land Art Norfolk outdoor sculpture sculpture

Houghton Hall Part 1 – Richard Long at Houghton

This post, one of two about Houghton Hall in Norfolk wasn’t published at the time so here it is now, found again and ready to be sent out albeit rather late!

Richard Long is one of our favourite land artists and until this year we had only seen a few isolated examples of his work. While travelling towards our holiday venue in Norfolk we noticed, as we drove along, large signs advertising an exhibition of his work at Houghton Hall. We could not believe our luck! We soon set aside a day to visit the garden and exhibition.

The exhibition was called Earth Sky and we had seen a few of the pieces there in the past and thought it a great location for his work.

There were a couple of pieces we particularly wished to study, “A Line in Norfolk” and “North South East West”. We have already seen a similar piece to “A Line in Norfolk” at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park a few times over the last few years. There, the line of sandstone ran like a perfectly straight path into a lake. It looked amazing and magical. The other piece we wished to see had been featured in a magazine article and simply looked so perfect and satisfying sitting dead centre in a room in the house itself.

“A Line in Norfolk”


“North South East West”


As well as the pieces exhibited within the grounds a selection of much smaller pieces were on display along a corridor within the hall itself, delicate prints on driftwood and recycled pieces of wood.


Long experimented with splashes of white paint carefully and very deliberately thrown nto wall recesses previously painted black in readiness. The effects were fascinating and got the creative thinking going in overdrive. We saw simple but beautiful patterns, water falls, landscapes and much more within the lively white paint marks.

“White Water Falls”

I shall put more “White Water Falls” pics in the following gallery along with more photos of Richard Long pieces from his exhibition at Houghton Hall. Enjoy!



autumn autumn colours garden design garden designers garden photography gardening gardens gardens open to the public grasses hardy perennials Land Art light light quality meadows ornamental grasses outdoor sculpture Piet Oudolf sculpture

Hauser and Wirth – a return to Piet Oudolf’s gallery garden

We have visited the Piet Oudolf gardens at the Hauser and Wirth Galleries in Bruton, Somerset twice already. We wanted to visit once more to see how these amazing new perennial style gardens had matured.

We had to pass between the gallery buildings to reach the gardens but were drawn to these gently planted containers and gardens in the courtyards.


A sculpture piece by Richard Long graced one area of grass, but after a quick look and photo, we hurried through the gallery buildings and out into the main gardens. We were to find another Richard Long piece at the far end of the main garden, one of his circular works.


To give a true picture of the gardens here at the gallery I need to share a gallery with you showing views across board, plant compinations and a few individual plants too. Enjoy by clicking on the right arrow and navigate as usual using the arrows.


autumn autumn colours colours gardens open to the public Land Art light light quality logs National Trust outdoor sculpture photography Shrewsbury Shropshire The National Trust trees woodland woodlands

The Line – a simple tribute to Richard Long

Jude and I are great fans of land artists and are proud of our British contingency of these sculptors with big ideas. We have sought out pieces around the UK and loved the work of Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and Richard Long in particular.

Leaving a wooded shaded area and entering a open grassland mown short by the munching mouths of deer and sheep, the sunlight caught the purity of the white fibres of the sheep wool. A simple white line, a reminder of the work of Richard Long.


Richard Long and his landscape art would soon come back to our thoughts and eyes, as we continued our wandering in the woodlands at our local National Trust property with its wonderful parkland, woodland and walled garden, we had to take a detour veering away from our usual routeway. We took a poorly marked diversion beneath open woodland of long stretched trees with narrow trunks and branches way up creating a high canopy.

Some of these trees, although relatively young tend to weaken due to competition from their neighbours simply growing too closely, and then either die off or get blown over by strong winds. On this day in late November the bright sunshine shone so low down that it lit up the felled trunks. Below I share my photograph of a thin silver line lying beneath the narrow black verticals, a broken birch bough beneath living conifers stretching to reach the light.


It put in my mind the work of Richard Long, the part played in his creativity of lines and paths. I took a few shots to put together as a short appreciation of his work.





sb1-18 The end of the line ………………..

……………………… for now. Soon more broken bright green moss covered fallen boughs cut across our pathway. the richest green cutting through the deeply carpeted dried browns of fallen autumn leaves.


More lines appear before your eyes when you have Richard Long’s work in your mind, the wash left as a white line across the dark surface of the river, the bright line of light vertically drawn down the trunk of an ancient proud tree.

lp2-1 lp2-2

So our visit to Attingham Park was made even more special and the experience raised even higher by linking it to Richard Long’s creativity. What a surprise!


landscapes outdoor sculpture Yorkshire

A Week of Culture – Part Three – My Favourites at the YSP

For this third post in the Week of culture I promised to share with you some of my favourite  scultptors who have created pieces to display outdoors. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the ideal setting with its acres of grounds which was an area of parkland associated with a grand house. The sloping hillsides, the lake and woodland areas provide ideal settings for pieces of outdoor sculpture for both pure sculptors and land artists.

On our visit this winter the favourites we enjoyed were Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, David Nash and Richard Long.

I shall begin with a piece by Richard Long simply because this is the first time we have ever seen any of his work. Much of his work is based on a line, a walk or circles. He is the best known British land artist famous for his work made while walking. He has been honoured with a CBE for his art, the land art, sculpture, photography and paintings and in 1989 received the Turner Prize. At the sculpture park we had to walk along the shores of the lake through woodlands before we found this piece. The photo was taken on my i Pad so do not do the piece justice. The stone pieces were of red sandstone.

2014 01 26_6358_edited-1 2014 01 26_6356_edited-1 2014 01 26_6355_edited-1 2014 01 26_6354_edited-1 2014 01 26_6353_edited-1

My second artist to feature is David Nash who has a few pieces permanently at Yorkshire Sculpture Park but we have also seen  a massive exhibition of hs work here a few year ago after his year as artist in residence there. Both pieces we saw on this visit are in the woodland with one on the banks of the lake on the shore between the wood and the water.

The first of his works we found was entitled “71 Steps” and it climbed a hillside up through the wooded slope. The first few photos are to set the scene.

2014 01 26_6349_edited-1 2014 01 26_6348_edited-1

2014 01 26_6345_edited-1 2014 01 26_6346_edited-1  2014 01 26_6344_edited-1

Close by we spotted these beautiful pieces of wood and tree sculpted by Mother Nature and reflected in the water. They were flowing out into the lake.

2014 01 26_6350_edited-1 2014 01 26_6351_edited-1

2014 01 26_6352_edited-1

The second of the David Nash pieces was closer to the water’s edge between the trees and the biscuit coloured leaves. Just like the steps the wood had been scorched by burning. Sadly the camera on my i Pad couldn’t cope with the contrasts so the beautiful colour of the dried reeds has burnt out.

2014 01 26_6337_edited-1 2014 01 26_6338_edited-1 2014 01 26_6339_edited-1 2014 01 26_6341_edited-1 2014 01 26_6342_edited-1 2014 01 26_6343_edited-1

On a piece of rough ground close to the lake we came across a builder’s store where old bricks and building stones were being kept whilst work was being completed on an old chapel in the grounds. We couldn’t help but wonder what a good land artist would have created using these pieces! Close by mother Nature had created a piece of her own land art based on a fallen tree.

2014 01 26_6335_edited-1 2014 01 26_6336_edited-1

2014 01 26_6334_edited-1

Barbara Hepworth’s work is well represented here at the sculpture park as her pieces called the “Family of Man” are displayed most sympathetically on a sloping piece of sparcely planted woodland. On the way to find these pieces we passed this interesting sign where the face of our Labour Party leader had been added. Similar photos of faces had been pasted to trees but the weather had got the better of these.

2014 01 26_6234

I have included some close up photos of a few of the pieces by Barbara Hepworth to show where the hand of the artist has left her marks. I enjoy studying the texture of any piece of sculpture as it can be as important as the overall shape of the work.

2014 01 26_6237 2014 01 26_6241 2014 01 26_6240 2014 01 26_6239 2014 01 26_6238   2014 01 26_6245 2014 01 26_6246 2014 01 26_6247

The bark of this tree caught my eye as we moved between the Barbara Hepworth pieces. It was the texture that attracted me and the pattern of diamonds sculpted into the bark. Even the carved graffiti seemed to add to the character of the tree, telling a part of its story.

2014 01 26_6243 2014 01 26_6244

2014 01 26_6242

You can see from the photo of Jude below that the weather was not making wandering around the site too easy. The ground beneath our feet was very slippery. This meant that when we came to seek out the work of Henry Moore we found it difficult to get to them as the ground was impossible to walk on due to the steep sloping land where they were situated.

But we can enjoy this one piece.

2014 01 26_6235

2014 01 26_6333 2014 01 26_6332

For part 4 of this week of culture we move on to the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery in the city of Wakefield itself.