Mosaic Eggs

1995
Oak
x 255 x cm
Edition of 1

The oval has been used frequently by Nash, often in pairs, and has been explored in many different ways. Only slightly more complex in form than the pyramid, globe and cube which recur time and again in his sculpture and drawings, in a wide range of scale colour, wood and treatment, the egg has taken its place in Nash's repertoire. A symbol of fertility, a form which may contain inner, unknown life and energy, the egg in sculpture offers many conceptual possibilities. Mosaic Eggs recall delicate Imperial Russian Easter Eggs, decorated with fine jewels, but here the eggs are hewn from massive oaks, their surfaces carved deeply. Robust in form and texture, these eggs sit within the woodland, as much at one with the landscape as fallen fir cones. Their formal relationship is carefully considered, one egg on its side, the other vertical with space to walk between them. The comfortable notion of nestling eggs is excluded, yet the eye draws them together to read the sculpture as a whole. Nash's first piece in a series of egg forms was Mosaic Egg (1988). In an exhibition at the Annely Juda Gallery which carried this title, Nash wrote: “Mosaic Egg - The Mosaic, a whole made up of many - The egg, whole in itself out of which many may emanate.”

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About The Artist

Nash’s sculptures are made from unseasoned wood, which inherently 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. Charred columns have recurred regularly in Nash’s work since 1983 when he produced his first charred works in Japan in the early eighties, in a process that was almost ritualistic. Charring changes the surface of wood to carbon, which, when treated with preservative and linseed oil, gives the sculptures a longer life in the open air. In 1999, Nash embarked on making some 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. The charred surface is achieved by cladding the sculpture with light combustible materials, which were held in place by floorboards, then set alight. This is a vital and risky moment in the progress of the sculpture, as the flames have to be controlled by spraying water over the surface so that it burns evenly. Steam and smoke combine to dramatic effect and the charred sculpture is revealed as the boards fall away. David Nash says “Charring transforms the surface from a vegetable material to carbon. The sense of scale and time are strangely changed. The charred form feels compacted yet distanced in space.”

David Nash

Born: 1945

Other Artworks by David Nash at CASS

1998

Threshold Column

Charred columns have recurred regularly in Nash’s work since 1983. The column is clearly a form related to the vertical …

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Sculpture

Threshold Column

Charred columns have recurred regularly in Nash’s work since 1983. The column is clearly a form related to the vertical nature of trees, and Nash hims…