Sunday, October 28, 2012

David Nash at Kew

Kew Gardens are currently hosting an exhibition from David Nash, an artist who is well known for creating works with trees (both living and as timber). I have always quite enjoyed this style of art, where organic forms meet sculpture so have been waiting for a suitable time to visit. 

With the garden and pond taking up a lot of our time this year we have not been to Kew Gardens as often as  we have done in prior years. So although this exhibition has been on since July today was this first chance we got. This was something of a quick visit to Kew so we didn't look at all the sculptures in the garden but here are a selection of what we did see (mostly in the Temperate house and in the grounds).

We have spent many hours over the years in the Temperate house, and normally the plants take centre stage, but today the plants were very much part of the backdrop.

Crag and Cave 2007, Yew
These two pieces resemble large driftwood statues, something similar would add an interesting contrast to a garden even on a domestic scale. Perhaps a large piece of dead wood or drift wood standing on end would give a similar focal point at home.


Seed, 2007 Bronze

Plateau, 2011 Bronze
I'm less keen on this type of sculpture, for me Plateau doesn't really add anything to the plants, perhaps in a different setting I may have been more enamored by it.

Furrowed Oak, 1994, Oak
Throne, 1994, Beech
Mizunara Bowl, 1994 Oak
Overlap, 1994 Elm
Overlap was probably my personal favourite, I could imagine this fitting into our garden, although sadly i suspect it may be a little out of our price bracket!

Red Frame, 2008 Sequoia 
The Red Frame is another I really like and again I could see this in our own garden. I may play with the concept of creating viewing gaps in a solid wood wall, possibly as part of the divide between the pond area and the working area beyond.

Red and Black Dome, 2006 Yew
Pyramid, 2010 Bronze
Two Sliced Cedars, 2010 Cedar (and Mark 2012)
These two I really love (perhaps that should have read these three!). the black charred wood against the autumn leaves gives a nice contrast. They make me think of a forest after a fire has gone through, perhaps an Australian Eucalptus forest, when you see the jagged trunks jutting up into the air.


Cork Dome, 2012, Cork Oak
I wanted to play with the Cork Dome, to rearrange the pieces and make new shapes. Fortunately I resisted the temptation.

I guess they are worried the art work would be damaged, but it looks like they should have
asked people not to climb on the sign too!



Nash described the Temperate House as a curious place, and I have to agree it always has been, the exhibits currently in place may not be to everyone's taste but they are curious and I do generally enjoy them.

So what do you think, any that you like?

Gaz

David Nash at Kew

19 comments:

  1. The concept doesn't quite work though I like some of the individual pieces. It might be that I prefer the contrast of the glasswork of Dale Chihuly that has been on tour at botanical gardens here in America.

    "Overlap" reminds me of a palm trunk so you could achieve similar effect that way. I like the form of "Seed" but bronze seems an odd material given the rest of the exhibit. Good idea to play with openings in a screen for your own garden.

    Note to self: I must return to London now that I am a gardener and spend less time inside museums.

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    1. Hi Shirley, I agree that some of them don't quite work in where they are sited, but being temporary I suppose there isn't much they could do. It brings extra interest in the place though and draws in more people.

      They had a Dale Chihuly exhibition many years ago and we saw that one as well and thought it was spectacular, especially the large glass sun and the pieces floating on the pond. It'll be nice if they bring in his work and show them again here in the very near future. And yes do visit London again soon :)

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  2. I love the Red Frame and the Cork Dome; the latter, though, would probably take up too much space for my garden, and both would definitely out-do my budget, so instead I'm trying to find space for a nice stone I picked up on a walk on the beach. Slightly more manageable, both in terms of space and money.

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    1. Some very nice pieces indeed but yes there is a premium on the prices with the works made by a well known artist. Sounds like you found a very nice stone and can imagine it'll make a good statement in your garden. Looking forward to seeing where you'll place it :)

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  3. A lot of different pieces there. I tend to be one that likes pieces of driftwood.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Hi Cher, pieces that look like driftwoods are the ones that blends in most easily in a garden :)

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  4. Wow so many cool, inspiring ideas. Many thanks for sharing.
    Living in Shropshire , i would not ave the time to visit, but so glad I could watch it here.

    You made my day

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    1. Hi Ofer, the exhibition runs till April next year, you may still have time to see the pieces in person :)

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  5. I enjoyed the sculptures when I saw them a couple of months ago. It was also interesting to see the work area where a tree was being felled and dismembered. I did like Cork Dome - very tactile.

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    1. Hi Easy Gardener, that must have been good to watch the work being created.

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  6. The cork dome reminds me a bit of the work of Andy Goldsworthy. I think he has inspired many artists, who in turn inspire all of us to take some chances (on a smaller scale) in our own gardens. It will be interesting to see what will pop up in yours.

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    1. Hi Ricki, I am an admirer of the work of Andy Goldsworthy and was also reminded of his work when seeing that piece in particular.

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  7. I'm a huge fan of gardens as exhibition space, Hannah Peschars being one of my favourites. I am quite draw to Throne it's slinky silhouette would fit into a domestic garden very well. Another great post, I'm hoping to go along and see the exhibition next week. Paul

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    1. Hi Paul, I checked the artist Hannah Peschars and she has done some great pieces. Do check out the exhibition, it is better in the flesh and I'm sure you'll enjoy it :)

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  8. Hi Mark and Gaz,Glad you liked the Nash. Was it you I saw in the Nursery open day? My partner and I have just had a break in Cornwall and went to Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens at Ludgvan near Penzance.There was a Nash along with other contemporary works set in this beautiful garden over looking St Micheals Mount.Well worth a visit.

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    1. Hi Richard, we did attend the nursery open day - we were there on the Sunday afternoon, so it may well have been us!

      We have been fortunate to visit the Tremenheere Garden previously, although we didn't make it this year. Its a fantastic garden and I agree well worth visiting. I understand that there is now a visitors centre as well which wasn't there when we last visited the garden.

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  9. I didn't know there was such a thing as a quick visit to Kew. I personally like Overlap the best, though something about red and black dome speaks to me as well.

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    1. There is probably no very quick visits. We are members so sometimes pop in when in the area or otherwise for a couple of hours.

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  10. Great - I love sculpture in the landscape but the Nash works are not as colourful as the Chihuly glass sculptures a few years back!

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