crowdfunding wood circle
When it was announced in 2011 that Richard Long’s artwork Wood Circle might leave the museum, a large group of guides, teachers and patrons took the initiative to organize a campaign to keep this work of art. The museum supported this spontaneous decision and went in search of additional financial support. With the slogan “Help to Keep the Wood Circle” we called on people to become donors, and through this crowdfunding initiative people became actively involved with the work and the museum. With their contribution the donors took responsibility for the public ownership of artworks. The aim to collect at least €30,000 was achieved.
At a time that the government is spending less and less on art and culture, private individuals and businesses can make all the difference. Crowdfunding is an accessible method of participation which gives art lovers a democratic voice so that they can help to determine the provision of art and culture in their immediate environment. The money that was generated for the Wood Circle was collected by voordekunst.nl, a website on which ongoing art projects search for additional funding by private individuals and businesses.
Wood Circle, an early work by the well-known British artist Richard Long, has been on loan to the Van Abbemuseum since 1977 and has been exhibited many times in the past decades. It appeals to many visitors and invites them to think about art and what makes something art.
The work fills an entire gallery and consists of at least 840 branches. The branches are placed in an undulating pattern in a circle with a diameter of seven metres, following certain instructions that Long specified in a document. The work looks slightly different every time that it is laid out.
The work is representative of the artistic climate of the 1970s, when artists were turning their backs on established opinions about art. Performance, body and land art emerged during this period.