Embedded into the landscape, Richard Long’s stone sculptures have a timelessness that connects the present with the past. They could have been there for ever.
Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, was a great patron of the arts. It would amuse him to see the landscape of his great Palladian house, Houghton Hall, filled with contemporary artworks that here are not grand sculptures on plinths or obelisks at the end of a grand avenue, but are integrated into the gardens and the landscape, a 21st century equivalent of the art incorporated into the original Palladian building designed by James Gibbs, Colen Campbell and William Kent.
Exploring the gardens is an adventure as you break through small gaps in the avenues of hedges or explore the Walled Garden to discover hidden places with sculptures by artists including Richard Long, Rachel Whiteread and Zhan Wang, some in obvious and pivotal locations; others hidden away and almost impossible to find, indeed some like Anya Gallaccio’s ‘Sybel Hedge’ are growing into landscape itself. And then, in the Stables, is something entirely different – James Turrell’s immersive ‘Raemar Magenta’.
And now, Damien Hirst has arrived to disrupt all this…..