Boyhood Line

Boyhood Line
Temporary Public Art Commission

Artist: Sir Richard Long

Partner: Arnolfini

Client: Stoford / Simplyhealth

Location: The Downs, Bristol

Services: Awards strategy, commissioning, prize award management

Completed: 2015

British artist Richard Long was commissioned to develop a new temporary public artwork for Bristol Downs as part of his solo exhibition 'Richard Long: Time and Space', at Arnolfini during summer / autumn 2015. The artwork entitled Boyhood Line was produced in partnership with Studio Response and supported by healthcare provider Simplyhealth as part of a two year commissioning programme entitled the ‘Art and the Public Realm Commission Award’, marking the construction of their new Bristol HQ.

Boyhood Line, made from white limestone, drew attention to a footpath close to Ladies Mile - a ‘desire line’ which had been made over many months by the footprints of people walking across The Downs, instinctively following the same route and collectively establishing an unplanned path through the grass. Richard Long is an English sculptor and one of the best known British land artists. Long’s first work made by walking, A Line Made By Walking (1967), similarly documented the creation of a transient line in nature, this time made by Long repeatedly walking back and forth in a grassy field. In his subsequent map works, Long recorded walks on Exmoor and Dartmoor, with the intention to make a new art which was also a new way of walking: walking as art.