Richard Long’s Six Stone Circles is made using Delabole slate, quarried in Cornwall. As with all Long’s sculptures, the work was constructed following his completion of a carefully documented walk in the landscape from which the slate derives. Arranged in six concentric circles, carefully ordered according to the size of each piece of slate – the largest at the outer extremities and the smallest in the centre – Six Stone Circles both merges with the surrounding environment and disrupts it, as human intervention collides with nature. Long explains that his desire is to achieve “a balance between the patterns of nature and the formalism of human, abstract ideas like lines and circles. It is where my human characteristics meet the natural forces and patterns of the world.” Each of the individual pieces of slate touch at their widest points in an evocation of the ancient symbolism of prehistoric stone circles. Whilst the circular patterns are artificially constructed, the near-uniform flatness of the slate is a natural characteristic of the material. For Long, the difficulties inherent in having to transfer his work to an indoor gallery space are here resolved in the harmonic, outdoor installation.