David Nash at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The other day I went to visit the work of David Nash at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield. His work is so wonderful – large wooden sculptures roughly carved that are so monumental you can’t help but be moved. What I really like is the way he documents the progression of his work and the wonderful maps he draws, providing an overview of his shifting styles and materials.

Perhaps what struck me most though about the exhibition is the need to simplify, to stay true to a simple vision. In his early work there were too many variables and he appeared frustrated with his material. His mastery with wood is so apparent now and this is due in part to his decision to focus, to narrow his remit to three themes about wood: origin, material, process.

An added bonus is the lovely chain of connections that occur when flitting between art events. Nash’s Wooden Boulder (a project that documented the natural journey of a wooden boulder in the landscape over a period of over 20 years – surprisingly moving) was referenced in a poetry reading last year. Alec Finlay’s mesostic poetry grew from plant pots in a green house in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, only to re-appear in a medicine cabinet in Leeds City Art Gallery in the same week. Either the artworld is too small or I’m on the right path!


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