Cork Spire

Entering the Nash Conservatory, one is immediately met by the towering structure and huge presence of Cork Spire.

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cork spire by david nash

Cork Spire at Kew Gardens

Date and material

  • 2012
  • Portuguese cork oak

The Nash Conservatory is such a beautiful and wonderful space that I made the decision to make a single installation in here rather than a group of sculptures. I know the space, and then when the shapes come, it's sort of like cooking; you're bringing all the ingredients together.

David Nash

Cork: a sustainable material

Cork Spire is made from the bark of Portuguese cork oak, a material that illustrates Nash's philosophy about our relationship with the natural world. He describes our environment as 'our outer skin'. 'We are in and of the environment; we are not apart from its master - and everything that we do impacts upon it, for better or for worse,' he says.

The farming of Cork Oak is one of the best examples of traditional sustainable land use because the trees can regenerate their spongy bark and therefore be stripped of it every ten years. Cork oak forests also support a rich community of many species. If we stop using cork, the trees will be cut down, the land re-used and this biodiversity lost.

The Nash Conservatory

Nash has curated this installation at the Nash Conservatory so that the structure and form of the work beautifully complements the scale and elegance of this classic conservatory. Further new work is being displayed at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art and at the Wood Quarry.

Constructing Cork Spire

Watch this short video as Cork Spire is constructed in the Nash Conservatory, piece by piece.

2 comments on 'Cork Spire'


20/03/2013 8:23:46 PM | Report abuse

It looks beautiful when complete and the information relating to the barks home in Portugal and the tree being harvested every decade...makes this almost a performance piece....I'm going asap...a must see for me!

Lyoichi Seto says

11/10/2012 2:46:40 PM | Report abuse

What a big thing To remember for years To remember with smile!

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