Black Sphere

At Kew, Nash has deliberately placed Black Sphere on high ground - to catch our peripheral view, 'like a black full-stop'.

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Black Sphere (2004) by David Nash

Black Sphere at Kew Gardens

Date and material

  • 2004
  • Charred oak
Slate mines in North Wales
Slate mines in North Wales (Photo by David Nash)

Universal forms

For Nash, sphere, cube and pyramid are 'universal forms' with a deep spiritual significance. Drawing on Plato's theory that we all possess an innate sense of geometry, he says, 'these are basic geometric shapes that we do tend to see in the natural landscape when they are present, even as a mere suggestion.'

He believes that the visual arts bounce off this logic, where 'artists find forms that are deeply recognised by our fellow human beings.'

Near to Nash's home in North Wales, waste tips from the local slate mines make geometric shapes in the landscape. Nash explains that it's 'geometry that inevitably comes out of the process of the horizontal rail line, pushing a truck and tipping. The rail line had to be horizontal and the tipping created a diagonal. These shapes have lived into me so I think it's quite natural that they come out in my work.'

Making Black Sphere

Black Sphere is made from layers of 10 inch by 10 inch beams, stacked on top of one another. On two sides you can see all end-grain - the wood in cross section. On the other two sides, the wood is worked along the grain. This short video shows Nash's team assembling the sculpture.

1 comment on 'Black Sphere'

James Smith says

28/06/2012 11:51:51 AM | Report abuse

Love the Black Sphere! It looks so imposing and mighty perched on top of the hill!

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