One of the great delights of this year has been my discovery of the exhibition of sculptures by David Nash at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. I have visited three times in the last couple of months. David Nash has carved the works with chain-saw and axe from dead trees in the gardens. The sculptures frequently bear the marks of their making as well as of their intrinsic natural structure. Many pieces are deliberately and spectacularly charred black. Whilst all the works are hewn from wood initially, some pieces have subsequently been cast in bronze or steel – and it is often difficult to tell of which material a sculpture is comprised just by looking.
The works invite the viewers to think about their own and the sculpture’s relationship with nature. The sculptures are enhanced by their setting, whether indoors as in the Temperate House among the palms and ferns, or outside amongst the majestic mature trees. The sculptures distill the essence of their verdant surroundings – almost requesting that we compare and contrast the shapes, textures, patterns of the natural with the man-made structures as well as examine the thoughts and emotions that both invoke in us.
To find out more about the work of David Nash, and the exhibition at Kew Gardens, click on the following links: