A Forest of Fifty Years’ Work

From Planet 235

by Jo Mazelis

Jo Mazelis reviews the retrospective exhibition of David Nash’s work ‘Sculpture Through the Seasons’, at National Museum Cardiff, and reflects on the resonance of his sculpture in an era of ecological devastation. The exhibition runs until 1 September 2019.

At the entrance to this major exhibition of David Nash’s work is a chair constructed from ash sticks. Enclosed in a glass case like sleeping beauty, the chair suggests the human form while also negating it. Too delicate to sit in, its limbs seem to continue to sprout, throwing out slender branches from its seat and ladder-back, while the legs stand nimbly on multiple twig toes, frailer than a ballet dancer en pointe. This piece from 1979 is almost unique among the work on show, except that like nearly everything else it is made from wood.

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