As we look forward to David Nash unveiling a new series of sculptures at Kew Gardens this October, we asked you to vote over the summer for your favourite existing work. Correct at the time of writing (September 2012), we are pleased to reveal that your top three Nash works are:
- Black Sphere (2004, Charred Oak)
- Mizunara Bowl (1994, Mizunara Oak)
- Cairn Column (2012, Charred Oak)
We asked David to give his thoughts on the results of the vote, and the choice of these three as his most visually striking works at Kew.
Cairn Column at Kew Gardens
Speaking about 'Cairn Column' in the first instance, it didn't come as a surprise to David that this featured in your top three. "It really is just a great piece of work! It was produced using an unusually good piece of oak and there were no rot spots in there after we removed the bark. I wanted to let the idea be suggested by the wood itself. It had serious volume and presence. Placing it near one of the main entry points to Kew is a great way to welcome visitors to the exhibition."
Mizunara Bowl in the Temperate House at Kew Gardens
Created back in 1994 in northern Japan, 'Mizunara Bowl' was voted your second most popular work. David made some interesting comments on this choice; "The location of this work in the Temperate House at Kew Gardens is the best ever in 18 years. It was the first decision I made to place it there, and I knew instantly it was the right spot. It had been lying in a wood yard in Hokkaido, Japan, for many years and was carved in extreme conditions including 4m of snow! It's survival of the Kobe earthquake in 1995, when it was displayed in a museum there, shows it's great endurance".
With the greatest number of 'likes' and voted your most popular Nash work, comes 'Black Sphere'. Contrary to popular belief, this work is made from layers of 10 inch by 10 inch beams, and isn't a single piece of solid wood. David chose the location, perched on top of a small mound, deliberately... "It catches our peripheral view. It is like an enormous full-stop", suggests David. "It's very clear and photogenic and I often see people looking at it, trying to figure out how I made it!"
'Black Sphere' and 'Cairn Column' are two of several works made from charred wood, a process which David believes has great appeal to visitors. "It makes the form very clear", says David. "Black Sphere" is made of a series of charred layers, which creates enormous mystery for the spectator. And of course, insects don't like carbon either so that helps lengthen the life of the work!" Other charred works on display include 'Black Butt', 'Comet Ball' and 'Charred Crossed Egg'.
Finally, we asked David to let us in on his personal favourite work in the exhibition; by no means an easy question for him to answer! "It's very difficult to answer that as each represents something very different and evokes a number of memories. I'd probably agree with visitors; 'Cairn Column' was made from a truly fantastic piece of wood and is a great sculpture. Likewise, I really do like 'Cork Dome' too. One thing I'd like to say though, is that I'd really encourage people to explore the exhibition in full and not just enjoy the outdoor works. 'Furrowed Oak' and 'Cube, Sphere, Pyramid' in the Temperate House are both hidden gems and well worth seeking out."
David's exhibition continues at Kew throughout the autumn, with 'New Works' including a towering cork oak spire and a series of smaller works inspired by David's growing knowledge of Kew and its scientific work, and is unveiled on October 13th. You can find out more about the exhibition and preview all the works on display by visiting our David Nash at Kew web pages.