David Nash is also known as one of the first artists to create ecological
or environmental art. He is concerned about our natural environment.
For his sculptures he uses wood only from trees that are already condemned
to fall. He considers his way of working to be a form of recycling.
He tries to use all the wood, and even makes drawing charcoal from
the smallest scraps. He uses the natural drying process of the wood.
Since wood is 50 percent water, it cracks and changes color as time
passes, becoming a continual work-in-progress.
Nash calls this "going" artwork. The wood is going back to the earth.
He also creates "coming" artwork. An example of this approach is Ash
Dome, started in 1978. This work consists of 22 live ash trees
trained to grow together at the top to create a dome.
Standing Frame was commissioned by the Walker Art Center
in 1987. The work was created from two white oak trees found growing
near the Mississippi River in Taylor's Falls, Minnesota. Nash uses
a geometric shape, the square, to create
Standing Frame. He contrasts this geometric frame against
the natural organic shapes of the three legs
of the sculpture. Nash built a frame so viewers can create their
own personal pictures of the cityscape and other artworks in the
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden by shifting their viewing position.
The wood of Standing Frame grew gray with age and Nash was
not pleased with the result. He returned recently and blackened
the surface with a propane torch, creating more of a contrast between
frame and "picture." This burning also completes a circle for Nash.
"Wood," he says, "is a weave of earth, air, fire and water."
the conditions, circumstances, and influences surrounding and affecting
the development of an organism.
environmental or ecological art--Art
that focuses on human interaction with their environments such as
pollution and land use.
with regular contours, and straight edges such as squares, triangles,
free-form, irregular shapes echoing nature.
artwork that is not yet finished.
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