Long was born in Bristol, where he still lives. His work is about walking and the direct experience of nature. He trained from 1966-68 at St Martin's School of Art in London, where several of his contemporaries were busy questioning traditional forms of art. From the mid-1960s, while still a student, he began making walks and photographed the trace he had made (the flattened grass, stones laid at regular intervals) or would simply mark the course of the walk on a map. Later, he began laying rocks or twigs in straight lines or circles. By the late 1970s he was reconstructing these works in interior settings, though the walk remained the basis for collecting the natural material. Long won the Turner prize in 1989.
Art in which the idea takes precedence over its manifestation in visual form. It emerged in the 1960s and was often concerned with the nature of art and the use of language.
Founded in 1984, the Turner Prize is awarded annually to the ‘most outstanding contribution’ to British art that took place in the last year.