The Master Lecture Series
C. Schoenknecht & W. Paul Sculpture Lecture
Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 7 pm
Speaker: David Nash
FEE: Included with admission
Please join us in welcoming internationally renowned sculptor Sir David Nash as the 2013 presenter of the C. Schoenknecht & W. Paul Sculpture Lecture. This presentation is an extraordinary opportunity to meet and hear from the artist during his visit to create a site-specific sculpture with living trees for the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden.
For this icon of British art, the use of wood and, by extension the science and anthropology of trees, has proven central to his repertoire. Whether cutting, carving, casting or planting, trees have been the singular resource for nearly all of his sculptural pursuits, equally serving as the source of inspiration for his drawing and film projects. A long-standing environmentalist, Nash’s utilization of trees in the creative process allows the character, textures and history of the material to play a significant role in the creative process and its future life as a work of art.
Over the course of his 40-year career, Nash typically employs tools such as a chainsaw and an axe to carve the wood and, often, blowtorch to char surfaces in order to create his sculptures. In a few rare examples, including Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s very own iconic King and Queen of 2008, the artist has translated his wooden sculptures into bronze. Nash creates land art across the globe, out of fallen tree trunks and branches, creating a series of extraordinary sculptures and installations, some that may last for centuries while others have begun to decay, to be returned to nature. In sculpture and in film, a much-celebrated project was Wooden Boulder, begun in 1978. More than just a sculpture, Wooden Boulder also documents the journey of a large wooden sphere from a Welsh mountainside to the Atlantic Ocean. Wooden Boulder is a large sphere carved in the North Welsh landscape and left to weather. Over time, the boulder has moved through the landscape following the course of streams and rivers. It was thought to have been washed out to sea but, indications are that it had been buried in sand in an estuary. The sculptor had no idea of its location, and enjoys the notion that wood, which grew out of the land, will finally return to it. As such the relationship of time and nature are powerful themes for the artist.
Nash also creates sculptures from living trees that are intended to remain and flourish in the landscape. Ash Dome is a ring of ash trees he planted in 1977 and trained to form a domed shape. The dome is sited at a secret location somewhere in North Wales. Similarly, though not in a secret location, David Nash will be on site at Meijer Gardens in 2014 creating a work of sculpture from more than 130 larch trees which will be situated in the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese Garden and will be planted and installed along the westernmost section of the Japanese Garden and easily enjoyed from the tram path as well.
Don’t miss this special opportunity to hear from David Nash and journey with him on a most remarkable artistic journey. Come to know a sculptor with work in our permanent collection and a land artist who will feature prominently at Meijer Gardens for generations to come.
This annual lecture is made possible by Charles Schoenknecht and Ward A. Paul.