Monday, 16 March 2015

David Nash at Kew

A couple of years ago, I decided to visit Kew Gardens as my Art Fund card let me get in for half the price. I remember the days when you could get in for 1p but nowadays it's £15 for an adult and even the Art Fund concession seems to have stopped.  At the time of my visit, there was a sculpture exhibition throughout the gardens which rather caught my imagination.

David Nash OBE RA is a British sculptor who is well known for working with unseasoned wood, which he changes using fire, air and water.  He mainly uses a chainsaw or an axe for his large sculptures and has made many charred items which when treated with preservatives and linseed oil help the sculptures to last longer in the open air. He was the artist in residence at Kew from April 2012 to April 2013 using naturally available wood from trees grown on site for his sculptures.

This is a real peacock!

He is also known for his Land Art, in particular his Wooden Boulder. 

In attempting to move a large felled oak tree in the Welsh mountains to his studio, Nash decided to cut it into a rough sphere and put it into the nearby stream.  Transporting it any other way would be too difficult and dangerous.

He followed the journey of the large wooden sphere  from the hills on its journey to the Atlantic Ocean. He started filming in 1978 and periodically went back to track its progress, sometimes it got stuck along the way, even disappearing for five years before turning up again.

When out of sight David Nash said 'the boulder is not lost - it is just somewhere else.'

It was spotted again in August 2013.

More information on its journey here.

Wooden Boulder on its way down the river

On display at Kew, not part of David Nash's work.

Part of the trial gardens at Kew

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