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Wilderness Dreaming
Richard Long 2017

This spiral of rough-hewn slate was created in 2017. Find out more about Wilderness Dreaming here.


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
Describe the shape or pattern of Wilderness Dreaming.
Does this belong here? (note: Acknowledge that this is not from Norfolk)
What materials are from Norfolk?
Why has this been made here?

Key Stage 2
What does it remind you of? See how many things you can compare it to.
How is it different to the rest of the location?
What does it make you think about the materials where you are from? (note: Links to line in Norfolk)

Key Stage 3
How is this work suggestive of both young and old, past future?
The Glacial environment of Norfolk has erratic glacial remains from last Ice Age. Could this be a warning?

Key Stage 4
How could Long be seen to have represented the state of dreaming or the nature of dreams here?
The movement of materials reflects current socio political change today. How does this change the interpretation of this piece?

Compare Wilderness Dreaming with Full Moon Circle – what significance can you attach to their proximity?

Back in the classroom:
Make your own Wilderness Dreaming. What materials would you use and why?
Could your school develop land art in its grounds?


Made from a spiral of rough-hewn slate  

Slate is formed from sedimentary clays, compressed over millions of years into a hard rock with a layered structure which can be split apart into slabs. Slate is typically blue/grey in colour but this can vary. The slabs used here are split along the natural joint faces and some are stained brown by elements and minerals such as Iron and Manganese. These were carried in the water filtering through the clay layers as the slate formed. The natural, rustic quality of these slabs is in tune with the organic, flowing form of the spiral.

The resources are below:


If I wanted to do what you do
I’d begin by making mud pies,
each one a different size.

Or else I’d make a sandcastle
decorated with cockle shells
and guard it with magic spells.

Mum gave me an idea. “If you want to do
what he does, make a girl of flowers
jewelled with spring showers.”

My girl’s green. Her curls are unfurling.
She’s white-and-gold. Buttercups, may.
Forever, and one day.


by Kevin Crossley-Holland


NOTE: What have you made in your garden, or on the pavement, or on the beach? Does it matter if it doesn’t last forever?

Listen to an audio recording of If I Wanted To Do, read by Emily Quinney.


Balls of gnats are spinning in the slanting
sunlight, a jet is white-painting
parallel lines, and fourteen people
are standing in a silent circle

watching an old man with a grimy handkerchief
knotted over his head lay slate
after slate in a spiral. He tamps them,
stamps on them (the ground here is uneven),

and it is growing. If they hold their ground
it could whirlpool around them, and they
would become what it is, sweet water
and force. Nothing is impossible.

Clack and clatter! They’re listening,
half-dazzled by the shine and sheen,
fourteen apprentices to this wild dream
– this spellbinding, everyday magic.


by Kevin Crossley-Holland


NOTE: Have you ever watched someone creating something? What did you think and feel?

Listen to an audio recording of The Magician.