The scaffolding is down

FOR the first time in nearly 40 years, Salisbury Cathedral is without scaffolding, and to mark the occasion the New Art Centre at Roche Court, Winterslow, near Salisbury, has shared an image of an installation in the Cathedral Close.

The scaffolding has been part of the cathedral’s exterior structure for 38 years, and in celebration of its removal the New Art Centre has reissued this stunning image of Richard Long’s Spring Ellipse which was installed in the Cathedral Close in 1999, in collaboration with the New Art Centre.

The New Art Centre has a selection of small works by the Bristol-born land artist and sculptor, together with his permanent installation, Tame Buzzard Line, 2001, which stretches across the Roche Court Sculpture Park.

Royal Academician Sir Richard Long (78) is one of the best-known British land artists and is the only artist to have been short-listed four times for the Turner Prize. He was nominated in 1984, 1987 and 1988, and then won the award in 1989 for White Water Line. He lives and works in Bristol.

Long studied at Saint Martin’s School of Art before going on to create work using various media including sculpture, photography and text. His work is on permanent display in Britain at the Tate and Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery as well as galleries in America, Switzerland and Australia.

His work has had an enormous impact on sculptural and artistic practice and on how land art is experienced by the viewer. He has broadened the idea of sculpture to be a part of performance art and conceptual art. Typically he works in earth, rock, mud, stone and other nature-based materials.

A survey in 1986 revealed the 800-year-old Cathedral, where the first stone was laid in 1220, was in need of extensive restoration work. Since then more than £30 million has been spent. The scaffolding has come down from the latest phase on the east end and experts have suggested that the cathedral now looks as it would have done in the 14th century. Maintenance of the cathedral is, inevitably, a constant process, and there will now be restoration work in the north cloisters.

Pictured: Spring Ellipse in Salisbury Cathedral Close, 1999; Richard Long’s Tame Buzzard Line, 2001, flint.