26 September 2012

David Nash at Kew, A Natural Gallery

Nash's workshop within Kew

Inside the Temperate House

Eucalyptus Block

Hiding in the Temperate House
Yorkshire Sculpture Park had been a fabulous venue a couple of years ago for the work of David Nash OBE (b.1945) and I was very excited at the prospect of seeing the work again, this time in Kew Gardens.
Sadly, I didn't feel it delivered, it failed to pack a punch; some of the work seemed rather contrived and a bit insignificant within the setting of Kew, they did not achieve what the Henry Moore's had done.

Hidden amongst the plants in the Temperate House were several small sculptures, some beautiful, like the image above but I felt they had no empathy with what was around them.  The majestic chair like sculpture, in its' own space had room to breathe and be admired. The warm damp conditions present will change the wood and this in itself might make it worth retuning to see what happens.   At the entrance to Kew stands the wonderful Eucalyptus Block, four trunks that have fused together creating a fascinating centre to peer through.  Is this Nash or is this nature?

The Wood Quarry is Nash's outdoor temporary studio, with two upturned tree trunks that can't fail to bring a smile.  He claims he responds to what the wood suggests and has more recently cast his pieces in bronze;  an interesting development and very difficult to visually distinguish between blackened wood and the bronze, as every mark and knot seems to be beautifully captured.

It was good to see the Sherwood Gallery which puts it all into context with drawings, photography and more pieces. Overall, it makes for a lovely day out and it does encourage a closer observation of the trees but perhaps Kew is just a bit too big for some of the pieces to make their presence felt.  Jen