David Nash

b. 1945

David Nash was born in Esher in 1945 and studied at Kingston College of Art, Brighton College of Art and Chelsea School of Art. On leaving Chelsea, Nash moved to Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales, purchasing a chapel which has remained his studio and home ever since.

Nash is a master at working in wood, carving and shaping the material into beautiful organic forms. His range of mediums also includes growing plants, cutting them and training them into domes or ladders. His famous Ash Dome, planted as saplings in 1977, is now a mature dome centred on a plot of woodland in North Wales, Nash's 'laboratory' for growing works and a place for thinking.

David Nash has had hundreds of solo and group exhibitions worldwide, many of which are formed from work he has made in the general location of the museum or art gallery, with local wood. Significant shows of this type have been held in America, Japan and Poland. Nash's sculptures, made from unseasoned wood, alter after his intervention, cracking and twisting as they dry. In harnessing not only the element of air, but also fire and water, Nash changes the form and surface of his sculptures. His first charred works were made in Japan in the early 1980s. The process is almost as ritualistic as it is intense. Charring changes the surface to carbon, which, when treated with preservative and linseed oil, gives the sculptures a longer life in the open air.

In 1999 David Nash embarked on making works in bronze, using earth and fire in the process. The resulting sculptures, with their patina resonant of smoke and ash, hold echoes of his works in wood. This is similar for his piece in Sterling Stuff II, Silver Egg, where the sterling silver sculpture still retains the features of wood. Nash continues to work in Blaenau Ffestiniog and in many places around the world. In 1999 he was elected Royal Academician.

David Nash
Silver Egg by David Nash Whirling Egg by David Nash Silver Egg by David Nash