beLong at Houghton Hall Logo

White Water Falls
Richard Long 2017

Richard Long is known for creating mud paintings, and White Water Falls in the colonnades were made in 2017. Find out more about them here.

Questions

Whilst these questions have been designed to be suitable entry points for Key Stages 1-4, we would encourage you to use the questions as broadly and fully as is appropriate to your group.

Key Stage 1
What shapes or figures can you see here?
Where are the waterfalls in Norfolk? Are they this big?

Key Stage 2
Which ‘Water Fall’ is your favourite and why?
Where is the water in Norfolk? What links them? (note: Aquifer = a body of permeable rock which can contain or transmit groundwater).

Key Stage 3
Change your perspective and see what the White Water Falls look like as a collective, as an individual piece and then go up close What you can see in the detail?
How would you create an invisible waterfall?

Key Stage 4
How does the formal setting of these works add to their resonance? What comparisons can you draw?
How does early flint mining in Norfolk link with this piece? (note: is it a representation of underground?)

HE/FE
How does the material contribute to a sense of liminality?

Back in the classroom:
Make your own ‘water falls’ as a class and write about what your work means to you. What setting would you choose and why?

Materials

Made from a ‘henge’ of tree stumps from the Houghton Estate

Houghton has hundreds of wonderful old trees, many planted in long avenues leading towards the house. Oaks form the Great South Avenue and to the north is a double planted avenue of beech established in 1730. As beech is not very long lived only a handful of the original trees still survive, approaching the end of their life. The sweet chestnuts in the avenue to the East Lodge are older as this was part of an earlier geometric planting scheme. The oldest trees are the oaks in the North Park, far from the house. When trees reach the end of their life the stumps are grubbed up so new trees can replace them. This circle echoes the pre-historic wood henge discovered recently at Holme-next-the-Sea here in Norfolk, with a great inverted stump at its centre.

Find out more about materials in the tab below.

The resources are below:

Made from: A ‘henge’ of tree stumps from the Houghton Estate

Houghton has hundreds of wonderful old trees, many planted in long avenues leading towards the house. Oaks form the Great South Avenue and to the north is a double planted avenue of beech established in 1730. As beech is not very long lived only a handful of the original trees still survive, approaching the end of their life. The sweet chestnuts in the avenue to the East Lodge are older as this was part of an earlier geometric planting scheme. The oldest trees are the oaks in the North Park, far from the house. When trees reach the end of their life the stumps are grubbed up so new trees can replace them. This circle echoes the pre-historic wood henge discovered recently at Holme-next-the-Sea here in Norfolk, with a great inverted stump at its centre.

Great South Avenue – oaks. Beech double planted avenue running north from the hall were established by Charles Bridgeman c 1730 and only a handful of these original trees still survive and are approaching the end of their life. Horse Chestnuts on the Ice House mound were originally a closely planted ring.

Sweet Chestnut Avenue now forms the drive to the East Lodge, originally part of the complex pattern of geometric planting swept away in the 1730s. There is evidence on the oaks of their past use – ancient ones may have been shredded to provide low level leafy growth for browsing animals not looking like standard trees. The most ancient great oak has a 9 metre girth and can be found in the north of the park associated with the site of the deserted settlement. All of the oldest oaks are in the North Park – unlike the more formal planting, and might have been retained because of their ancient interest and to be destinations for walks or outings.

WHITE DEER CIRCLE 

All our green dreams, our children
singing in the wind,
our high hopes
come down to this:
look at our twisted claws,
our earth-grapplers

upended as this planet is;
we’re sacrifices to ourselves.

We’ve been waiting for you
for hundreds of years.

Stay a while now
within this precinct, this hollow.
Tell us your fears your sorrows.
We will absorb them
though we can’t explain it,
we can set you free.

 

by Kevin Crossley-Holland

 

NOTE: What are your thoughts and feelings when you look from the outside in and look from the inside out? Is there a difference?

Listen to an audio recording of White Deer Circle.