From Nature To Nature (Six Parts), 1986
Charcoal on paper and charred wood98 x 76 cm
The triangle symbolizes space, the circle movement, the square matter. Thus does English artist David Nash envision the way in which a shape may blossom.
And vibrant black to reveal it, its unique density, obtained with charcoal. The burnt wood from which colour springs comes from trees, the sculptor’s essential matrix. Trees in all forms, with which he has been interacting for five decades. From Nature to Nature sanctions the virtue of an endless cycle.
The man saws, makes dents, cuts, chars, burns, and yet the words he uses to describe his favourite material – which he encountered in 1969 when he settled in Wales after studying at the Chelsea School of Art – resemble a lover’s discourse.
About the trees he approaches, David Nash claims they are watching him. For his part, he tries to speak their language. “ I let the material seduce me ” , he adds. There has to be chemistry. He needs this connection, and as the relationship forms, as he becomes acquainted with oak, beech, sequoia, sycamore, wherever they are, he can then begin to work and produce his sculptures. He observes their environment, understands their soil, the air that surrounds them, the sky that overlooks them, and their moods too, their personalities. Texture, resistance, lines, growth: all will guide his gesture. The trees steer, they produce the idea. He then works fast, often cutting the trees directly.
He likes respecting the volume of each of his protégés. In order to focus on the material, he has developed a range of shapes which he is loyal to and which evolve gently over time, as love would. Folds, on show in the exhibition, reveals the splendour of a sequoia which gathers in an embrace. Its burnt core, as black as the artist’s favourite colour, endows it with an emotional depth. Aged 73, this major player of Land Art is still enamoured with nature, with the elementary forces that inhabit it and with the creative dynamic it inspires in him.
Exhibition Poussières d’étoiles (Stardust)
From 24th May to 15th Decembre 2018
Under the creative guidance of Garance Primat
Curators: Hervé Mikaeloff et Ingrid Pux